More than 700 people cross Channel in busiest day of the year so far

More than 700 migrants arrived in the UK after crossing the English Channel in a single day - a new record for the year so far.

The Home Office said 711 people made the journey in 14 boats on Wednesday, suggesting an average of 51 people per boat.

It takes the provisional total for the number of arrivals this year so far to 8,278.

This is 34% higher than the total at the equivalent point last year and 19% higher than the total at this stage in 2022.

Last year 29,437 migrants arrived in the UK altogether, which was down 36% on a record 45,774 arrivals in 2022.

The government's Rwanda deportation plan aims to act as a deterrent to "stop the boats" - one of Rishi Sunak's key pledges.

Since the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Act became law last week, 1,611 migrants have crossed the English Channel.

The legislation aims to revive the stalled scheme which has faced repeated legal challenges since it was announced two years ago.

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Under the plan, people who enter the UK unauthorised will be sent to Rwanda to have their asylum claims processed there.

Since the passage of the latest legislation, tensions have grown between the UK and Ireland after people entered the Republic to escape facing deportation.

But the government in Westminster says it will not take people back until a reciprocal agreement is put in place to allow returns to France for people who cross the Channel.

No one has been deported to Rwanda yet, though this week a failed asylum seeker voluntarily chose to go to Kigali once their application to stay in the UK failed, under a different scheme.

The government has said removal flights are set to take off in nine to 11 weeks, with the first people to be deported detained on Wednesday after officers raided their homes.