Channel migrant numbers pass 31,000 so far this year

Channel migrant numbers pass 31,000 so far this year
Gareth Fuller
Mark White

By Mark White

Published: 23/09/2022

- 10:36

Updated: 23/09/2022

- 10:43

More than 1,000 people crossed the Channel in small boats on Thursday

More than 31,000 people have crossed the English Channel in small boats so far this year, after another eleven hundred made the crossing yesterday.

The figure is over 3,000 more than the number who arrived in small boats throughout the whole of last year.

Latest figures from the Ministry of Defence show 21 boats were intercepted on Thursday, carrying 1,150 people.

It is the third highest daily figure in 2022 and brings the total to have made the crossing so far this year to 31,665.

After a spate of bad weather in the English Channel, a few days of better conditions has led to a huge surge in those attempting the crossing.

The pressure on UK authorities has prompted officials to erect additional tents at Dover harbour, to keep migrants covered as they are processesd by Border Force officers.

A group of people thought to be migrants board a bus in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI following following a small boat incident. Picture date: Thursday September 22, 2022.
Gareth Fuller

GB News has been told that the main processing facility at the Manston MOD base in Kent is also at full capacity.

With weather conditions deteriorating in the Channel again, the number crossing has slowed down today, with three small boats making it to UK waters so far.

It is now more than five months since Boris Johnson and former Home Secretary Priti Patel announced plans to send migrants to Rwanda to try to deter people from crossing the Channel.

On April 14, Ms Patel signed what she described as a “world-first” agreement with Rwanda, under which the East African country would receive migrants deemed by the UK to have arrived “illegally” and therefore inadmissible under new immigration rules.

However, the first deportation flight, due to take off on June 14, was grounded amid legal challenges.

Several asylum seekers, the Public and Commercial Services Union and charities Care4Calais, Detention Action and Asylum Aid, are embroiled in court cases with the Home Office as they challenge the legality of the policy.

Since the Rwanda deal was signed, 26,397 people have arrived in the UK on small boats.

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