Number of migrants crossing Channel approaches 10,000 so far this year

More than 100 people made the journey in small boats this weekend

Migrants are brought into Dover Port after being picked up in the English Channel by the Border Force. Getty Images
Powered by automated translation

The number of migrants who have arrived in the UK in small boats across the Channel this year is approaching 10,000, as two more vessels arrived on Sunday.

A total of 103 people made the crossing in two boats on Saturday, bringing the total so far this year, not including Sunday’s arrivals, to 9,803.

This compares with 7,217 by the same date last year and 8,693 in 2022, 3,112 in 2021 and 1,492 in 2020.

There were 29,437 arrivals in 2023, down 36 per cent from a record 45,774 arrivals in 2022.

Women and children were the first to be taken off the boats on Sunday morning as they were taken into Dover on-board a Border Force vessel.

“The unacceptable number of people who continue to cross the Channel demonstrates exactly why we must get flights to Rwanda off the ground as soon as possible," a Home Office spokesman said.

“We continue to work closely with French police who are facing increasing violence and disruption on their beaches as they work tirelessly to prevent these dangerous, illegal and unnecessary journeys.

“Last year they stopped 26,000 people from reaching our shores.

“We remain committed to building on the successes that saw arrivals drop by more than a third last year, including tougher legislation and agreements with international partners, in order to save lives and stop the boats.”

The government has said it expects to deport 5,700 asylum seekers to Rwanda this year.

Updated: May 19, 2024, 3:23 PM