Brits 'have had enough' as record-breaking 1,200 migrants cross Channel in one day

12 November 2021, 07:49 | Updated: 12 November 2021, 15:43

The RNLI, as well as Border Force boats, brought around 1,000 people to the UK on Thursday
The RNLI, as well as Border Force boats, brought around 1,000 people to the UK on Thursday. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Some 1,185 migrants reached the UK in small boats on Thursday in a new daily record for the ongoing migrant crisis, with the Home Office saying the British public "have had enough".

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Among those who risked their lives to cross the English Channel was a young girl wrapped in a red blanket, who was seen being carried ashore in Dover on Thursday.

She was one of hundreds of people brought to the port in Kent after being picked up at sea by lifeboat crews and Border Force vessels, who spent hours intercepting boats in the Dover Straight throughout the day.

However, it is feared three people are lost at sea, with two kayaks being found adrift of the coast of Calais.

Small children were among those who arrived on Thursday
Small children were among those who arrived on Thursday. Picture: Alamy

Thursday's total surpasses the previous daily record, set when 853 people crossed the channel in one day earlier this month. It is thought more than 23,500 people have reached the UK on small boats this year.

A Home Office Spokesperson said the public "have had enough" of the crossings, and said the number was "unacceptable".

"The number of illegal migrants we have seen departing from France today is unacceptable, said the spokesperson.

"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."

Read more: Nearly 2,000 migrants arrived in the UK last week in new record for 2021

Read more: Record 853 migrants cross Channel to the UK in a single day

It comes as two people lost their lives attempting to make the perilous journey in recent weeks, with many more feared missing at sea.

Border officials were busy well into Thursday as they worked to process the arrivals, which included children wrapped in jackets and blankets to protect against the autumn chill.

Further along the coast, on Hastings beach, more people reportedly arrived after being picked up by the RNLI.

Home Secretary Priti Patel promised two years ago that migrant crossings would be an "infrequent phenomenon" by spring 2020 - and in August last year, made an additional pledge to "make this route unviable".

In an attempt to fulfil the promise, the Government has agreed to pay France millions of pounds to increase security on its northern coast - but the number of migrants reaching UK shores has continued to increase, although it still sees fewer asylum claims than many other European countries.

Read more: 'Not one euro paid' of money promised to France to tackle migrant crossings - minister

Read more: Migrant dies in English channel as number of crossings hits record number

At least 100,907 people have arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean by land and sea so far this year, according to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

At least 1,313 people are estimated to be dead or missing, according to the same data.