More than 1,100 migrants cross Channel to UK in two days

10 October 2021, 12:03 | Updated: 10 October 2021, 12:07

More than 1,100 migrants crossed the Channel on Friday and Saturday.
More than 1,100 migrants crossed the Channel on Friday and Saturday. Picture: Alamy

By Elizabeth Haigh

More than 1,100 migrants crossed the English Channel in the last two days, official figures from the Home Office show.

Data reveals UK authorities rescued or intercepted nearly 500 people on Saturday and more than 600 on Friday.

Meanwhile, French authorities prevented 114 people from reaching the UK on Saturday and 300 on Friday.

At least 40 boats landed on British shores, bringing the total number of migrants who have successfully made the crossing to more than 18,000 this year.

The figures come after 10 days in which no crossings were possible due to bad weather.

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

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Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said:  "The Government is determined to tackle the unacceptable rise in dangerous Channel crossings using every tool at our disposal, at every stage in the journey.

"But this is a complicated issue requiring changes to our laws.

"The Government’s New Plan for Immigration provides a long term solution to fix the broken system and deliver the change required to tackle criminal gangs and prevent further loss of life."

There have been nearly 300 arrests and 65 convictions related to small boat criminality this year.

Last month French authorities successfully prevented four times the number of small boat crossings as in September 2020.

Read more: 'No reason' for asylum seekers to attempt Channel crossing, Priti Patel tells Tories

The UK has been urged to keep its word by French ministers, who claim that none of the £54 million it promised France to help tackle migrant crossings has been paid.

Home Secretary Priti Patel recently threatened to withhold the funding unless more people were stopped from reaching the UK.

But Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told media outlets this morning: "We have worked very effectively with the French government so far."

Also this weekend Channel Rescue, a charity which observes migrants arriving in small boats across the English Channel, said that Home Office tactics to "pushback" migrants are "horrific."