More migrants arrive in UK after Channel crossing in small boat

Government vows to press ahead with Rwanda flights despite opposition

A boat containing nearly two dozen people was taken to Dover in Kent PA.
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More people have crossed the Channel in a small boat as the UK government said it was pressing on with plans to send migrants to Rwanda.

The Ministry of Defence said that one boat carrying 23 people was intercepted as it attempted to arrive in the UK on Friday.

This brings the total of people to have made the crossing so far this year to 13,124, which compares to 6,659 by this point in 2021 and 2,459 in 2020.

On Friday, Downing Street confirmed the Home Office agreement with Rwanda remained despite Boris Johnson’s resignation and suggested the first deportation flight could be made before a legal challenge against the policy is heard on July 19.

“This is a pre-agreed government policy,” Downing Street said.

“Convention doesn’t prevent or preclude government from seeking to fulfil that policy and that would include defending cases in court as required.”

In April, Home Secretary Priti Patel signed what she called a “world-first” agreement to send migrants deemed to have arrived in the UK illegally to Rwanda.

The first deportation flight, which was scheduled to take off in June, was grounded as legal challenges were made.

Steve Valdez-Symonds, from Amnesty International UK, has urged the government to rethink the “disastrous plan”, claiming it was “irresponsible and callous”, adding: “The UK government is so far removed from reality and lacking in humanity that they are not only destroying the asylum system but also people’s lives.”

Updated: July 09, 2022, 4:20 PM