Figures set to show 40,000 migrant crossings into UK this year

Figures set to show 40,000 migrant crossings into UK this year

More than 40,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel into the UK so far this year, Government figures are expected to show.

The provisional total of arrivals for 2022 had been 39,913 ahead of the weekend, with further crossings on Saturday likely to set a new milestone.

Border Force officials could be seen bringing groups of people into shore at Dover, Kent across the day, marking the first arrivals since October 31, following a spell of bad weather.

Official figures will be released by the Ministry of Defence on Sunday.

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
(Gareth Fuller/PA)

In 2021, there were 28,561 recorded.

August 22 saw the highest daily total on record, with 1,295 people crossing in 27 boats.

It is more than six months since the then 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 will receive migrants deemed by the UK to have arrived “illegally”, and are therefore inadmissible under new immigration rules.

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
(Gareth Fuller/PA)

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

The legality of the policy has since been contested in the courts, with ministers and campaigners awaiting a ruling from High Court judges on the case.

This week, two councils lost bids for High Court injunctions to prevent hotels from housing asylum seekers.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council asked the High Court to continue an interim injunction preventing migrants being accommodated at the Humber View Hotel in Hull, which was granted after it was contacted by the Home Office with a proposal to use the site.

(PA Graphics)

Ipswich Borough Council also asked for the extension of an interim injunction to stop further asylum seekers being placed at the four-star Novotel hotel in Ipswich city centre, where 72 people were already being housed.

In a ruling on Friday afternoon, Mr Justice Holgate refused to extend the injunctions.

It followed a failed bid by Stoke-on-Trent City Council on November 2 to continue an interim injunction preventing migrants from being housed in the 88-room North Stafford Hotel close to the city’s train station.

The number of people reaching the UK in small boats from France after navigating busy shipping lanes has increased steadily in recent years.

Some 299 were detected in 2018, followed by 1,843 in 2019 and 8,466 in 2020, official figures show.

Despite the growing numbers, the small boat arrivals are a fraction of the number of people going to mainland Europe.

The MoD said its data is taken from “live operational systems” and is subject to change, “including reduction”.