Nearly 700 migrants cross the English Channel on Friday in new record

Migrant crossings hit new daily record: Nearly 700 people arrived in small boats on Friday – the highest total of 2023 – with another group of 65 escorted into Dover today

  • Friday saw a new daily record with 686 migrants arriving into Dover on boats
  • Current rate is just seven per cent lower than last year, with 65 arrivals today 

Friday saw the biggest daily record of migrants crossing the English Channel so far this year, with nearly 700 people making the treacherous journey in small boats.

Home Office figures show 686 migrants made the journey, beating out the year’s previous record of 549 on June 11.

It takes the total number of incomers to have traversed the Channel this year to 12,119 – just seven per cent beneath the cumulative total of 13,000 for this time last year, The Telegraph reports. 

 A total of 45,755 migrants crossed the Channel last year, setting a new record.

The problem again resurfaced this morning, as Border Force officials escorted another 65 people to safety at the Port of Dover. 

Border Force officials escorted another 65 people to safety at the Port of Dover

The Border Force detected and intercepted 13 small boats on Friday, with an average of 53 people crowded on each dinghy (Pictured: 40 migrants being brought into Dover on Thursday morning)

Border Force officials escort a group migrants into Dover Docks last month

The Border Force detected and intercepted 13 small boats on Friday, with an average of 53 people crowded on each dinghy.

It followed a week of relative calm, with testy conditions making it unviable for any boats to cross.

The most recent migrants arrivals in the UK were on June 30, when 155 in three boats were intercepted by Border Force officials.

READ MORE: Migrant crossings for the month of June hit highest since records began

On that day, the French coastguard also rescued 11 asylum seekers who were stranded in their dinghy off the coast of Boulogne-sur-Mer in northern France.

The figures also show that 3,824 arrived in the country last month – the highest total for June since records began five years ago. 

In June last year, 3,140 migrants arrived in the UK having crossed the Channel. In 2021, 2,177 were detected, while there were 727 in 220 and 163 in 2019. And in June 2018, just four people made the crossing. 

Despite the flurry of crossings throughout the month, the total for the first half of the year is still 10 per cent lower than this time last year, when the figure stood at 12,747. 

The Government’s flagship Rwanda policy was ruled unlawful in the Court of Appeal last week, forcing the PM Rishi Sunak to take the case to the Supreme Court. 

Several ministers have threatened to pull Britain out of the European Convention of Human Rights, which was masterminded by Winston Churchill after World War Two to provide safe haven for people seeking asylum. 

Even in Westminster, the government suffered 20 defeats in the House of Lords over their controversial policy. Among those voting against the proposals was the Archbishop of Canterbury. 

Migrants arrived in Dover Port yesterday morning on board Border Fore vessel Defender

Nearly 700 migrants arrived in the UK yesterday (pictured) – the highest daily total in more than seven months 

Friday’s figure of 686 people (pictured yesterday morning) surpassed June 11’s total of 549 as the highest for the year so far and is the biggest number recorded since 893 were brought in for processing on November 29 

Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesman, said: ‘It is clear that the Government’s approach to tackling the small boats crisis in our channel is simply not working.

‘Instead of spouting spiteful rhetoric, Suella Braverman and the Home Office she fails to run should tackle the huge asylum seeker backlog immediately.

‘This Government has turned a blind eye to the crisis in the Channel. Their immoral and ineffective small boats Bill will make no difference whatsoever.

This week, the Government prepared to open the first asylum camp that will accept migrants directly from Manston processing centre close to Dover.

The former RAF Wethersfield site near Braintree, Essex, will house 120 migrants, eventually expanding to a full capacity of 1,700 men. A second military site, RAF Scampton will open in mid-August for a further 1,700 migrants.

In Portland, Dorset, a barge is also being set up to accommodate 500 migrants and is tipped to be ready in the next two weeks.

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