Daily Mail

Record 1,450 mi­grants crossed the Chan­nel in dinghies last month

- By David Bar­rett Home Af­fairs Cor­re­spon­dent Immigration · Society · United Kingdom · Priti Patel · Home Office · Dover · Royal National Lifeboat Institution

A RECORD num­ber of mi­grants reached Bri­tain by il­le­gally cross­ing the Chan­nel last month, it has been con­firmed.

More than 1,450 ar­rived by small boats in Au­gust, bring­ing the to­tal since the start of the year to more than 5,000. Just 1,850 mi­grants made the jour­ney in 2019.

The mas­sive rise comes de­spite a vow from Home Sec­re­tary Priti Pa­tel last au­tumn to have made the cross­ings an ‘in­fre­quent phe­nom­e­non’ by this point.

The Home Of­fice has sought to blame French au­thor­i­ties and ‘ac­tivist lawyers’ for the increase and for dif­fi­cul­ties re­mov­ing asy­lum seek­ers once they ar­rive in Bri­tain.

About 100 mi­grants were seen ar­riv­ing in the port of Dover yes­ter­day, with at least 15 small boats reach­ing Bri­tish shores.

The daily to­tal in­cluded women and chil­dren, as well as three men on an in­flat­able kayak.

One wo­man in her 20s was seen be­ing brought ashore by Border Force of­fi­cers in a wheel­chair.

Oth­ers were brought into Dover aboard the UK Border Force pa­trol boat Hunter. They were seen be­ing ush­ered out of the cabin on to the stern of the ves­sel where they were given life jack­ets.

Im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials then helped them ashore one by one and es­corted them up the gang­way.

A dinghy be­lieved to have been used to cross the Chan­nel was seen be­ing towed into the har­bour shortly af­ter­wards.

Later, more ar­rivals be­lieved to be mi­grants were seen com­ing into the port, sit­ting on the front of an RNLI lifeboat.

About a dozen in life jack­ets were helped ashore, where they were met by border of­fi­cials.

The pre­vi­ous monthly record for mi­grant ar­rivals was 1,075, set in July. Au­gust’s ar­rivals saw 235 reach Bri­tain on just one day – which was also a record.

Miss Pa­tel is seek­ing a deal with French au­thor­i­ties that would al­low mi­grant boats to be turned back in the Chan­nel. No agree­ment has yet been reached.

Yes­ter­day, the Mail re­vealed the tax­payer was hit with a £1bil­lion bill for the asy­lum sys­tem last year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK