Almost 150 more people arrive in UK after crossing Channel in small boats

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Three small boats carrying a total of 146 people have been intercepted crossing the Channel to the UK so far this weekend.

Women and children have been among recent arrivals making the dangerous journey.

The crossings confirmed by the Ministry of Defence on Saturday bring the total so far this year to 13,270, which compares to 6,659 by this point in 2021 and 2,459 in 2020.

On Friday, Downing Street confirmed the Home Office agreement with Rwanda remained despite Boris Johnson’s resignation and suggested the first deportation flight could be made before a legal challenge against the policy is heard on July 19.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “This is a pre-agreed Government policy.

“Convention doesn’t prevent or preclude government from seeking to fulfil that policy and that would include defending cases in court as required.”

In April Home Secretary Priti Patel signed what she branded a “world-first” agreement to send migrants deemed to have arrived in the UK illegally to Rwanda.

The first deportation flight – due to take off in June – was grounded amid legal challenges.

Steve Valdez-Symonds, from Amnesty International UK, has urged the Government to rethink the “disastrous plan”, claiming it was “irresponsible and callous”, adding: “The UK Government is so far removed from reality and lacking in humanity that they are not only destroying the asylum system but also people’s lives.”