Channel migrant crossings pass 2021 record with 28,000 people arriving in small boats

14 September 2022, 09:03

Record number of migrants cross the Channel in small boats
Record number of migrants cross the Channel in small boats. Picture: Alamy

By Stephen Rigley

A record number of migrants have crossed the Channel in small boats this year - already overtaking 2021's total.

On Monday, 601 people made the journey with an average of 32 on board each of the 19 boats, government figures reveal.

Ministers are under growing pressure to clampdown on migration with 28,561 people arriving this year which is nearly double the number at this stage last year.

Critics say at the current rate up to 60,000 migrants could come here by the end of the year. This is roughly the same size as Hereford.

There have been 3,518 crossings recorded in September so far which saw numbers pass by last year’s total of 28,526.

The highest daily total so far this year took place on August 22 when 1,295 people crossed in some 27 boats.

Migrants arriving in the UK
Migrants arriving in the UK. Picture: Alamy

Read More: More than 1,200 migrants cross Channel in one day in highest total since records began

Read More: UK rescues over 260 migrants in the Channel amid Rwanda deportation row

The startling figures come just four months after ex-Home Secretary Priti Patel signed a deal to send migrants to Rwanda as part of a deterrent mechanism.

She said the move was a “world first” where those arriving here illegally would be sent to the East African country. But since the pact was agreed 23,294 have made the journey to the UK.

Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said pressure was on Suella Braverman to deal with migration.

He said: "It was a matter of when not if the 2021 figure was overtaken. At this rate it will be 50,000-60,000 by the end of the year.

“The new Home Secretary must act quickly and decisively if the open door to illegal immigration and traffickers is to stand any chance of being closed.”

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