UK: Nearly 1,000 migrants cross the English Channel in one day

United Kingdom: nearly 1,000 migrants cross the English Channel in one day

According to official figures, more than 26,000 migrants have crossed the Channel since the beginning of the year (archives).

Nearly 1,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel to travel to the United Kingdom in small makeshift boats on Saturday, the British Ministry of Defense said on Sunday.

According to official figures, 960 people made the perilous crossing in 20 boats, bringing the total number of crossings since the start of the year to more than 26,000.

Over the weekend, nearly 300 other migrants rescued at sea were brought back to the French coast, according to the maritime prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea (Premar).

La Premar specifies in its press release that 109 people were rescued on Sunday off the North Sea and Pas-de-Calais, after “nearly 190” rescues on Saturday.

As of Friday, 221 people had reached the UK after crossing the English Channel in makeshift boats through one of the world's busiest straits. Forty other castaways had been rescued by the French authorities.

The number of crossings is on track to beat the record for 2021, when 28,500 people arrived on British soil. Such crossings have multiplied since 2018 in the face of the increasing lockdown of the French port of Calais and the Channel Tunnel.

A recent British parliamentary report estimated that the total of migrants could reach 60 000 this year despite repeated promises from the British Conservative government, which has made the subject a priority since Brexit. Indeed, the United Kingdom pays millions to France to help it strengthen the surveillance of the coasts and it multiplies the measures to harden the reception of migrants.

London has reached a very controversial agreement with Rwanda to send to this East African country asylum seekers who arrived in such boats on British soil.

Although none of these deportations have yet taken place – a first flight scheduled for June was canceled after a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR ) – Boris Johnson’s succession candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have both promised to continue this policy.

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