Channel migrants: Crossing numbers in 2021 triple 2020’s figureon January 4, 2022 at 7:52 am

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

The Home Office is “reforming” its approach to asylum, following 28,400 people crossing the Channel.

People being escorted to shore

Image source, PA Media

The number of people who crossed the English Channel in small boats last year was treble the number for 2020.

Figures compiled by the BBC show at least 28,431 migrants made the journey in 2021, despite huge UK investment in France to prevent crossings.

A Home Office minister said the government was “reforming” its approach and introducing tougher asylum rules.

Refugee charities say the “dangerous and callous policy” will lead to more arrivals and drownings.

In 2020, a total of 8,417 people crossed the Channel in small boats.

Last year’s record number – an increase of about 20,000 – saw arrivals peak in November when, despite falling temperatures, at least 6,869 people reached the UK.

On 24 November at least 27 people died as their boat sank.

The same month saw a new record for a single day, when 1,185 people reached British shores aboard 33 boats.

In 2020 the most arrivals on a single day was 416, set in September.

Small boats

Image source, PA Media

The government says their new Nationality and Borders Bill, will make it a criminal offence to enter the UK illegally and introduce life sentences for people-smugglers.

Home Office minister Tom Pursglove said the government was “making the tough decisions to end the overt exploitation of our laws”.

He continued: “The sooner the House of Lords approves the Nationality and Borders Bill, the sooner these reforms will be delivered.”

However, the chief executive at Refugee Action, Tim Naor Hilton, believes tougher measures will not deter people from making these journeys, and smugglers will continue to profit “unless ministers open up more routes for refugees to claim asylum”.

He said: “The government wants to legalise this dangerous and callous policy in its Anti-Refugee Bill, which will only lead to more people drowning.”

“It must wake up and scrap this bill now.”

RNLI boat carrying people picked up from a small boat in the Channel

Image source, PA Media

Presentational grey line

Follow BBC South East on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram. Send your story ideas to southeasttoday@bbc.co.uk.

- Advertisement -

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

‘Packed nightclub’ in Birmingham with 150 revellers inside raidedon February 16, 2021 at 11:24 am

Police found a bar, a VIP area and party-goers in one building plus more people at the "Covid Arms".Police have raided a makeshift club,...

Norrie’s ATP Finals hopes ended as Hurkacz secures final spoton November 5, 2021 at 5:28 pm

British number one Cameron Norrie can no longer qualify for the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin after Poland's Hubert Hurkacz secured the last spot.

Covid: No guarantees over Christmas lockdown, says Dominic Raabon December 20, 2021 at 9:35 am

No decisions have been made, the deputy PM says, as ministers consider new measures for England.Image source, Getty ImagesThe government "can't make hard, fast...

Verstappen tops second Styrian GP practice as Bottas spins in pit laneon June 25, 2021 at 2:12 pm

Max Verstappen sets the pace in second practice at the Styrian Grand Prix after title rival Lewis Hamilton had a quicker lap deleted.Max Verstappen...

Covid-19: Millions of asthmatics ‘must wait for vaccine’on February 15, 2021 at 1:08 pm

A much narrower group will now be eligible than previously indicated.image copyrightGetty ImagesPeople whose asthma is under control will not be prioritised for the...