Channel crossings top 20,000 with almost DOUBLE the number of boats compared to last year

Migrants: Nearly 700 cross Channel in a day in record high for 2022

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The total number of people attempting to cross the English Channel is almost double the number who made the passage by this time last year. By August 2021, 11,300 people had made it to the UK in small boats from France.

The total for this year tipped over the 20,000 mark after 607 more vulnerable migrants crossed the Dover Strait on Saturday.

They arrived in Britain after cramming on to just 14 boats.

People smugglers exploiting those desperate to make it to the UK often overcrowd migrants in small inflatable dinghies to travel from France.

It creates the risk of entire boats of people drowning due to the torrid conditions on the Channel and lack of proper safety equipment.

Both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have vowed in the Tory leadership campaign to get a grip on the crisis should they become the next Prime Minister.

They have vowed to continue implementing the controversial Rwanda asylum partnership if they take over from Boris Johnson.

The Government signed an agreement with the African country earlier this year that allows illegal immigrants arriving in the UK to be deported to the country.

It is hoped people making the dangerous journey across the Channel if they know they will be immediately deported.

However, flights to remove those here without justification are yet to begin after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) intervened in June to block the first plane from taking off.

There are concerns that the number of people making the crossing will continue to rise until the policy is fully operational.

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Mr Sunak and Ms Truss warned they will consider leaving the ECHR if it necessary to take back control of Britain’s borders.

The former Chancellor said he would do “whatever it takes” to get the Rwanda plan “off the ground and operating at scale”.

Meanwhile, Ms Truss vowed to “support and extend” the scheme “to more countries”.

“We need to make sure that the appalling people traffickers don’t succeed in bringing small boats across the English Channel,” she said.

“I would support and extend the Rwanda policy to more countries but also I would make sure in British law that we can’t be overruled by the ECHR so we are able to protect our borders.”

Earlier this year the boss of the Border Force Union, Lucy Moreton, warned that there could be as many as 60,000 people who make the crossing this year.

“The figures forecast for this year were double those of the previous year,” she said in April.

“The planning is for nearly 60,000, and that was before Ukraine.”

The Home Office says that by working with France, 13,500 attempted crossings have been blocked this year.

A Government spokesman said: “Our new Nationality and Borders Act is breaking the criminal gangs’ crossings business model with tougher sentences.”

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