Suella Braverman has conceded as many as 80,000 people could cross the Channel in small boats this year.
The Home Secretary said that on the "basis of previous years we have to expect that we may see in the region of 40,000 people or more" making the journey in 2023.
But when told that modelling produced by the Home Office had suggested the number could be as high as 80,000, Ms Braverman told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "It may well be. That is a possibility. That is why this action is necessary."
Almost 46,000 migrants were estimated to have made the perilous journey across the Channel in 2022, with numbers having increased 150-fold over the last four years.
The Home Secretary yesterday unveiled the Government's latest plans to tackle the migrant Channel crossings crisis as she vowed "enough is enough".
The Government's new Illegal Migration Bill will allow the UK to detain and swiftly deport people who arrive on small boats. However, the legislation will almost certainly be challenged in the courts.
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