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Nearly 700 migrants cross Channel in single day in record high for 2022

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Ramsgate, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Ramsgate, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Almost 700 migrants crossed the Channel to the UK in a single day, a record for the year so far.

Some 696 made the journey in 14 boats on Monday, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

This is the highest number on a single day so far this year, and only the second time in 2022 the daily figure has topped 600.

The previous highest number was 651 recorded on April 13.

The latest crossings saw large groups of people, including young children, brought ashore in Ramsgate before leaving the Kent port on double-decker buses.

The data suggests there was an average of around 50 on each boat that day.

More than 17,000 people have arrived in the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats such as dinghies so far in 2022, according to Government figures.

POLITICS Migrants
(PA Graphics)

Some 3,683 migrants made the crossing on 90 boats in July, the highest monthly total this year, PA news agency analysis of the figures shows.

Journeys took place on 20 out of 31 days.

It is more than three months since Home Secretary Priti Patel unveiled plans to send migrants to Rwanda to try to deter people from crossings the Channel.

Since then 11,827 have arrived in the UK after making the journey.

On April 14 Ms Patel signed what she described as a “world-first” agreement with Rwanda under which the east African nation will receive migrants deemed by the UK to have arrived “illegally” and are therefore inadmissible under new immigration rules.

But the first deportation flight, due to take off on June 14, was grounded amid legal challenges.

Several asylum seekers, the Public and Commercial Services union and charities Care4Calais, Detention Action and Asylum Aid are challenging the legality of the Home Office policy, with the next court hearings due in September and October.

Charity Freedom from Torture claimed the figures showed the Rwanda deal had “clearly failed to deter people from seeking safety on our shores” and called on the Government to “stop peddling fantasies” and instead establish safe and legal asylum routes that are “so obviously needed”.

The Government said it was confident in its plans to reform the asylum system but change would not happen overnight and there was no silver bullet to stopping the rise in Channel crossings.

A spokeswoman said: “People should always claim asylum in the first safe country they reach, rather than risk their lives and line the pockets of ruthless criminal gangs in order to cross the Channel. The New Plan for Immigration is reforming the UK’s broken asylum system.”