Traffickers chose Remembrance Sunday to resume the dangerous channel crossings of small boats packed with illegal migrants.
After 11 days of calm weather with no arrivals, the flotilla of rubber vessels from France started again soon after 1am on Sunday morning.
No official figures are available until Monday morning but up to a dozen vessels are said to have carried possibly hundreds of migrants to UK shores.
Around 40 migrants were said to have been rescued from one partially-deflated dinghy.
The Mail has been sent audio recordings of the French Navy liaising with Border Force vessels over the movement and rescue of migrant boats.
While the rest of the country paused for two minutes at 11am to remember those who lost their lives in the world wars, the business of picking up and monitoring the small army of migrants heading to our shores continued.
One recording from on board a Border Force vessel was made at around 11am, with a radio in the background playing the sounds of the Cenotaph ceremony.
At the same time communication was taking place with French warship Abeille Normandie concerning migrants that had come from France and were heading towards the English coast.
The chimes of Big Ben could be heard and the sounds of the Last Post as messages were exchanged between the vessels.
‘It is sad to see this,’ said a Dungeness-based boatman who sent the recordings. ‘Border Force continued pick up migrants from the French as if the two minute silence did not exist.’
‘It was dishonourable. There is a lot of anger about it among the sea-faring folk down here who have worn their poppies with pride. Border Force are working for the British Government and should stop work and respect the respectful silence.
‘We view the new migrant sailings today as a snub by the traffickers’ to the British. It was very difficult weather – although calmer than in the past weeks – but not safe to cross in a small rubber boat. Yet, still they came over risking lives’.
With the Supreme Court decision on the legality of the government’s policy to send illegal migrants to Rwanda due to be announced on Wednesday, the movement of trafficked migrants across the English Channel is back in the spotlight.
There have been no recorded crossings so far in November. According to official statistics the last migrants arrived on 31 October when 94 were detected crossing on two boats.
During October a total of 1,869 arrived in the UK on small boats.
The Home Office refused to comment on Sunday’s activity, but a spokesman said: ‘Our priority is to stop the boats – and thanks to the work of the Small Boats Operational Command, alongside our French partners, we are tackling the vile people smugglers.
‘The unacceptable number of people risking their lives by making these dangerous crossings is placing an unprecedented strain on our asylum system.
‘The government is going even further through our Illegal Migration Act which will mean that people arriving in the UK illegally are detained and promptly removed to their country of origin or a safe third country.’