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Surge in migrants crossing the English Channel at weekend

Migrants make the dangerous journey across the English Channel in small and overcrowded boats

The onset of Brexit has failed to have a deterrent effect on illegal migrant crossings across the English Channel, as evidenced by the latest influx this weekend.

More than 120 migrants have reached English shores this weekend alone after crossing the English Channel on small boats.

On Saturday (January 09), UK Border Force intercepted 103 migrants on six small vessels, while the French authorities intervened to stop three boats from entering British waters.

According to multiple reports,  on Sunday (January 10) 20 migrants involved in two incidents have been dealt with by UK Border Force officials.

It is also being reported that UK coastguard’s fixed wing aircraft and Border Force vessels Searcher, Vigilant and Neptune have been deployed in the English Channel to identify and intercept migrant boats. 

The latest influx of migrants across the English Channel is a strong indication that the measures adopted by the British and French governments last year have failed to stem the tide.

Home Secretary, Priti Patel, traveled to France last July to pressurize the French government into taking a harder line against migrants hoping to travel from France to the UK via the English Channel.

Patel also tried to involve the armed forces in potentially dangerous intervention operations against small vessels, a measure that was wholeheartedly supported by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

However, these measures have proved ineffective as demonstrated by the official figures.

According to Home Office figures, the number of migrants reaching the UK by boat in 2020 was 8,400, more than four times the year before, when 1,844 people crossed the English Channel in small vessels.  


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