Migrant crossings believed to have surpassed 40,000 this year after new arrivals

The number of migrants who have crossed the English Channel into the UK is thought to have surpassed 40,000 as dozens arrived on Saturday.

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

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

Groups of people could be seen arriving in Dover, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Groups of people could be seen arriving in Dover, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Dozens were pictured outside processing centres, among them a young child wrapped in a blanket.

Crossings began early in the morning and were continuing throughout the day.

Official figures are set to be released by the Ministry of Defence on Sunday.

It comes after 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.

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.

POLITICS Migrants
(PA Graphics)

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.

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

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.

Data from the UN’s refugee agency shows at least 120,441 people arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean by land and sea last year.