The number of people who have made the dangerous journey across the English Channel in small boats this year has passed the total for all of 2020 – with more than five months left of 2021.
At least 287 migrants succeeded in reaching the UK on Tuesday, bringing the total for the year to at least 8,452, according to available official data compiled by the PA news agency.
This eclipses the figure for the whole of 2020, when 8,417 people crossed the Dover Strait aboard small boats. These figures are based on Home Office data obtained and analyzed by PA.
Tuesday’s arrivals came after at least 430 people, including women and young children reached the UK on Monday, a new record for a single day.
Thousands of migrants have continued to make the trip across the Channel packed aboard often not seaworthy dinghies over the last 18 months, putting their lives at risk on one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
Criminal smugglers prey on refugees who have little choice than to put risk their lives in rickety boats because Ministers refuse to create more routes to reach safety here.
And the Government’s cruel anti-refugee Bill will do little to stop the boats. It is unworkable, unlawful and will end up an expensive disaster that criminalizes people who are simply asking for our help.
Criminalizing people just for trying to reach a place of safety is morally and legally indefensible. People cross the Channel and put themselves in serious danger because there are simply no safe alternatives open to them.
Today London signed a strengthened agreement with our French counterparts to increase police patrols on French beaches and enhance intelligence sharing. This joint work has already prevented over 7,500 migrants enter the UK.
Home Secretary Priti Patel and French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced an agreement to more than double the number of police patrolling French beaches for the second time in a year to prevent illegal migration and stop small boats from departing France.
Under the newly-agreed package, French officers will patrol wider areas of coastline across the northern coast between Boulogne and Dunkirk and patrols will be expanded further north-west around Dieppe.
AOL / ABC Flash Point Shipping News 2021.