Migrants crossing the Channel double in past year

·1-min read
A man carries a distressed young child amongst a group of people thought to be migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent (PA)
A man carries a distressed young child amongst a group of people thought to be migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent (PA)

More than 12,300 migrants have risked their lives to reach Britain in small boats crossing the Channel so far this year – at least double the number in the same period of 2021.

A total of 153 people on four boats were intercepted by the UK authorities on Monday, according to figures released by the Ministry of Defence.

More boats are expected to arrive on Tuesday despite strong winds in the region.

The recent crossings bring the total of people reaching the UK so far this year to 12,312 compared to 5,654 by this point in 2021 and 2,449 in 2020.

The figures highlight the Government’s failure to stop the dangerous Channel crossings despite the Brexit campaign’s key pledge to take back control of the UK’s borders.

At the weekend, Prime Minister Boris Johnson declined to give a figure by which Channel crossings needed to come down before the Government’s deeply controversial Rwanda migrant policy could be declared a success.

The first flight to Rwanda, planned for June 14, was cancelled at the last minute following an order from the European Court of Human Rights.

The Rwanda policy has been condemned by Church leaders, some MPs and human rights groups.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has previously described the court’s decision as politically motivated while Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said it was wrong for the injunction to be granted.

Ongoing court battles have created uncertainty over when any further attempts to fly asylum seekers to the African country will be made, although Ms Patel has said the Government “will not be deterred from doing the right thing, we will not be put off by the inevitable last-minute legal challenges”.

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