Channel crossings reach 10,000 this year as Labour slams 'dismal failure' of Sunak's Stop the Boats pledge

18 June 2023, 18:28 | Updated: 18 June 2023, 19:34

Channel migrants are pictured being taken onto shore by Border Force officials in May this year
Channel migrants are pictured being taken onto shore by Border Force officials in May this year. Picture: Alamy

By Adam Solomons

The number of people arriving in the UK on small boats in 2023 so far has passed 10,000, including around 1,000 in the past three days alone.

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Home Office figures suggest 10,139 have so far made the perilous journey across the Channel in 2023.

That's compared with 11,300 crossings made up to this point last year.

A spell of good weather has been credited for the recent uptick, which saw seven boat crossings on Saturday alone.

Read more: Rishi Sunak claims 'stop small boats' plan is working as Albanian immigrants avoid Britain

Read more: Home Secretary Suella Braverman claims people arriving in the UK on small boats have 'values at odds with our country'

Rishi Sunak has vowed to halt small boat crossings as one of the government's flagship five pledges for the nation
Rishi Sunak has vowed to halt small boat crossings as one of the government's flagship five pledges for the nation. Picture: Alamy

More than 1,000 migrants are thought to have made the crossing in the past three days alone, GB News reported.

Rishi Sunak has pledged to 'Stop the Boats', in part by using the government's touted Illegal Migration Bill.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the legislation, which is now making its way through the House of Lords, "pushes the boundaries of international law".

But Labour's Yvette Cooper said the latest figures make a mockery of the government's vow.

The shadow home secretary said: “These figures show the dismal failure of all the Prime Minister’s boasts of progress on small boats, and follow a week of damning official reports on the surging backlog, spiralling hotel costs and failing border security.

“Labour has a serious plan to fix the Tories small boats chaos, fast-tracking safe countries’ cases to clear the backlog and end hotel use and setting up a cross-border police unit to stop people smuggler gangs.”

A crowd of Channel migrants are pictured on a Border Force vessel after being picked up on the perilous waters
A crowd of Channel migrants are pictured on a Border Force vessel after being picked up on the perilous waters. Picture: Alamy

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The unacceptable number of people risking their lives by making these dangerous crossings is placing an unprecedented strain on our asylum system.

“Our priority is to stop the boats, and our Small Boats Operational Command is working alongside our French partners and other agencies to disrupt the people smugglers.

“The government has gone further by introducing legislation which will ensure that those people arriving in the UK illegally are detained and promptly removed to their country of origin or a safe third country.”

Nick Ferrari lambasts caller who wants to send Channel migrants to Cyprus

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