Migrant crossings: Nearly 1,000 people cross English Channel in a day as numbers approach total for all of 2022

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More people have reached the UK aboard small boats on Sunday after nearly 1,000 made the dangerous crossing yesterday.

The number of arrivals in 2022 - currently more than 26,000 - could soon eclipse the entire total for last year despite it still being summer, according to data compiled and analysed by Sky News.

Young children were among those brought ashore in recent days, as people continue to risk their lives to make the perilous journey from northern France.

More people were seen arriving in the port of Dover on Sunday ahead of an expected deterioration in weather conditions.

On Saturday at least 960 people reached the UK aboard 20 boats, according to government figures.

As well as increases in the overall numbers of crossings, a worrying trend can be seen in conditions on board the often unseaworthy boats making the journey over the last few years.

According to Sky News data analysis, an average of 39 people are being packed aboard each boat that reaches the UK this year - up from 28 in 2021 and 13 in 2020.

The dangers of overloading dinghies were starkly highlighted when 27 people died after their boat capsized off the coast of France last year.

Unable to stem the flow of crossings - which have spiked in recent years - the UK government resorted to threatening to remove asylum seekers to Rwanda in a bid to create some deterrence.

However the scheme has been mired in legal challenges, and more than 20,000 people have crossed the Dover Strait aboard small boats since Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the agreement with Kigali.

Several asylum seekers, the Public and Commercial Services union and charities Care4Calais, Detention Action and Asylum Aid are challenging the legality of the Home Office policy, with the next court hearings due to take place from Monday.

Campaigners have also called on the government to abandon the plan and free those awaiting removal from detention.

About 60,000 people were expected to cross the Dover Strait in 2022, more than double the figure for 2021.

Over the past few years, the Home Office has repeatedly vowed to make the route "unviable" for small boats, but the numbers of arrivals have continued to increase: from 1,843 in 2019 to 28,526 in 2021.

The government has explored everything from sonic weapons to controversial pushback tactics to try to put a stop to the crossings.

It has been accused by barristers of trying to "demonise" people who support refugees with claims about "lefty lawyers".