Number of English Channel migrant crossings now three times 2020’s total

·2-min read
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI on Saturday (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI on Saturday (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

The number of migrants reaching the UK by boat across the Channel has now more than tripled last year’s total, according to government figures.

At least 886 people reached the UK on Saturday, bringing the total for the year to more than 25,600.

Last year’s total was 8,417, according to figures analysed by the PA news agency.

The Government has repeatedly vowed to make Channel crossings unviable, and plans to change the law so that people facilitating them would face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The proposed law change would also see asylum claims partly assessed on the method used to get to the UK.

 (PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The British public have had enough of seeing people die in the Channel while ruthless criminal gangs profit from their misery and our New Plan for Immigration will fix the broken system which encourages migrants to make this lethal journey.”

It is estimated that at least ten people have died in recent weeks attempting to make the journey.

However, the total number of people who claimed asylum in the UK in the year ending June 2021 was 31,115, a 4% fall on the previous 12 months, as fewer have used other strategies to enter the country unregistered, reports the BBC.

The UK also continues to see far fewer boat arrivals and asylum claims than many of its European counterparts.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Bella Sankey, director of charity Detention Action, said: “While more people have arrived by boat by 2021, official figures show that asylum applications have fallen in recent years and the UK takes a small fraction of the refugees of our neighbouring countries.

“The crisis is that people with credible protection claims – such as Afghans fleeing the Taliban and Iranians fleeing horrendous oppression – are forced to make dangerous journeys that make the UK look chaotic and incompetent.”

She called on the government to open a “humanitarian visa system for people in France.”

Research by the Refugee Council published last week suggests most people crossing the Channel are refugees fleeing persecution.

Cabinet Office minister Stephen Barclay is set to lead a government review into how to prevent the crossings after Home Secretary Priti Patel pledged tougher action.

On Monday, the prime minister’s spokesman said “we continue to believe that there is more that can be done” by both the UK and France to stop crossings.

Under international law, people have the right to seek asylum in whichever country they arrive, with no requirement to seek asylum in the first safe country.

Read More

Beekeeping ‘breaks connection with trauma’ for refugees, says charity founder

Russia says ‘Britain is to blame’ for migrant crisis on the Polish border

Why refugees need an equal shot in the vaccine rollout

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting