Channel migrant crossings reach record high for single day

A record 1,295 migrants arrived in the UK on Monday after crossing the Channel.

It is the highest daily total since existing records began in 2018.

Some 27 boats made the journey, the provisional Ministry of Defence (MoD) data said, which suggests an average of around 48 people per boat.

The previous highest daily number was 1,185, on November 11 last year.

A distressed child is carried as a group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, from a Border Force Vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

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More than 22,600 people have arrived in the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats such as dinghies so far in 2022, according to the figures.

At the equivalent point in 2021, the cumulative total was just under 12,500.

Overall, 28,526 people made the crossing last year.

So far in August 6,271 people have been recorded making the crossing. This is already higher than any monthly total for the year so far. To date, the highest monthly total for crossings on record is November last year (6,971).

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Crossings continued on Tuesday amid breezy conditions in the Channel.

Border Force cutter Hurricane was seen rescuing around 40 people, including a family with two young children.

They were brought ashore in Dover, Kent, at about midday after scores of other people were thought to have already made the crossing earlier in the day.

Parents carried one toddler, who was screaming and crying, to safety, while a member of military staff was seen holding another child in her arms.

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Some of the young men waved to members of the press as they arrived while others carried their belongings in bin bags.

It is four months since home secretary Priti Patel unveiled plans to send migrants to Rwanda in a bid to curb Channel crossings.

Since then, 17,402 people have arrived in the UK after making the journey.

On April 14, Ms Patel signed what she described as a “world-first” agreement with Rwanda under which the east African nation would receive migrants deemed by the UK to have arrived “illegally” and therefore inadmissible under new immigration rules.

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But the first deportation flight – due to take off on June 14 – was grounded amid legal challenges.

Several asylum seekers, the Public and Commercial Services union and charities Care4Calais, Detention Action and Asylum Aid are challenging the legality of the Home Office policy, with the next court hearings due in September and October.

Steve Valdez-Symonds, Amnesty International UK’s refugee and migrant rights director, said: “Despite the Government’s shameful posturing and draconian refugee policy-making, the simple truth is that people including children fleeing war and persecution will continue to make these perilous journeys – whether by boat or other means – if the Government refuses to provide safe routes for them.”

A UK Government spokesman said: “The rise in dangerous Channel crossings is unacceptable. Not only are they an overt abuse of our immigration laws, but they risk the lives of vulnerable people, who are being exploited by ruthless criminal gangs.

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“Our new Nationality and Borders Act is breaking these evil criminal’s business model, through tougher sentences for those who facilitate illegal entry into the country, with 38 people already arrested and facing further action since it became law.”

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