More than 6,000 migrants have crossed Channel to UK in small boats this year

The MoD said 181 people made the journey on Good Friday, with more expected during good weather over the Easter weekend.

Ben Mitchell
Saturday 16 April 2022 16:41
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover (Gareth Fuller/PA)
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover (Gareth Fuller/PA)

More than 6,000 people have been brought ashore in the UK after crossing the English Channel in small boats so far this year.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed 181 migrants crossed to the UK on six boats on Good Friday, with more expected during the good weather over the Easter weekend.

The Royal Navy took over “operational command” of handling migrants crossing the Channel on Thursday as part of a shake-up which will see the planned transfer of asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Political commentator Nigel Farage criticised the Navy’s involvement on Friday as a “waste of time and resources”, claiming the vessels used are “too high” to take people on board so their role is limited to towing back empty dinghies.

A MoD spokeswoman said the patrol vessels are being used to bolster the capability in the Channel until “more appropriate” boats are sourced.

People landing on British shores after crossing the Channel in small boats could in future be sent to Rwanda (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A total of 651 people on 18 boats were rescued or intercepted on Wednesday April 13, making it the highest number in a day so far this year.

A further 562 arrived on Thursday on 14 boats, which brings the total for the year to 6,011 according to figures collected by the PA news agency.

A record 1,185 people made the crossing to the UK on November 11, 2021 – the highest recorded so far since the start of 2020.

In March this year, 3,066 people made the crossing.

This is nearly four times the amount recorded for the same month in 2021 (831) and more than 16 times the number in March 2020 (187).

It is also the fourth highest monthly total recorded since the start of 2020, behind July (3,510), September (4,652) and November (6,869) last year.

A total of 28,395 people made the crossing in 2021, compared with 8,417 in 2020.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in