Around 85 migrants rescued from boats in the Channel

Around 85 migrants are understood to have been rescued from small boats in the English Channel during the early hours of Tuesday.

It is understood that the migrants were rescued after UK Border Force vessels and RNLI lifeboats were sent out at about 4am.

The latest Home Office figures show that 184 migrants crossed the Channel in small boats in the seven days up to Monday.

More than 125,000 migrants have arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel in the last six-and-a-half years as the recent crisis unfolded.

Since the Government struck the deal to send migrants to Rwanda more than two years ago – which has since stalled amid legal challenges – more than 80,000 people have made the journey.

The tally of crossings since Rishi Sunak, who pledged to “stop the boats”, became Prime Minister is edging closer to 50,000.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We continue to work closely with our French partners to prevent crossings and save lives.”

A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “HM Coastguard has been coordinating the response to small boats crossing the Channel this morning, 18 June.

“RNLI lifeboats and UK Border Force vessels were sent.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a interview at the G7 leaders’ summit at the Borgo Egnazia resort, in Puglia, Apulia, Italy
Rishi Sunak told broadcasters on Tuesday that the fact young children were crossing the Channel was ‘desperately sad’ (Christopher Furlong/PA)

A spokesperson for the RNLI said: “On Tuesday 18 June, Dover and Dungeness all-weather lifeboats launched to assist with incidents in the Channel.”

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak told broadcasters on Tuesday that the fact young children were crossing the Channel was “desperately sad” and demonstrated why his Rwanda policy needed to be implemented.

He said: “It’s desperately sad to see young children being put in these very dangerous situations, making these crossings, which illustrates why we have to stop the boats, something I’m determined to do and have a clear plan to do so.

“If re-elected as Prime Minister, the flights will go to Rwanda, we will build that deterrent, removing the incentive for people to come here in the first place.

“That’s the only way to solve this problem and in contrast Keir Starmer would release everyone that we have detained, illegal migrants would be on our streets, they wouldn’t be on the planes, which would be cancelled. There would be no deterrent.”