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July migrant crossings hit highest monthly total for year

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Ramsgate, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Monday August 1, 2022. (Gareth Fuller/PA)
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Ramsgate, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Monday August 1, 2022. (Gareth Fuller/PA)

More than 3,600 migrants crossed the Channel to the UK in July, the highest monthly total this year.

Some 3,683 made the crossing on 90 boats in the 31-day period, with journeys taking place on 20 of those days, according to PA news agency analysis of government figures.

It comes as crossings resumed on Monday amid reports the Home Secretary could announce another multimillion-pound deal with France in a bid to curb Channel crossings.

Priti Patel is intending to pay the France tens of millions of pounds for more beach patrols and surveillance equipment, in addition to more than £80 million already provided over the last few years, according to The Times.

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

POLITICS Migrants
(PA Graphics)

Since then 11,131 have arrived in the UK after making the journey.

Several hundred migrants, including young children, are estimated to have been brought ashore in Ramsgate on Monday.

Large groups of people, including some wrapped in blankets, were seen leaving the Kent port on a double decker bus.

No arrivals were recorded on Sunday but on Saturday 460 people made the crossing in 12 boats, the highest daily figure since 445 were recorded on July 11, making it the sixth time this year the figure has topped 400.

April 13 remains the highest figure so far in 2022 (651).

Of the 16,389 people who have made the journey so far this year, the second highest month for crossings was 3,139 in June and the third highest was 3,074 in March, according to official Home Office figures for the first quarter of the year and subsequent provisional data collected by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

After navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats such as dinghies, 2,884 made the crossing in May, 2, 143 in April, 1,322 in January and 144 in February.

The highest month on record since 2018 is November 2021 when 6,971 crossings took place.

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.

Migrant arrivals have been diverted from Dover to Ramsgate since Thursday while heavy traffic on the roads and at sea was anticipated. The diversion is expected to end at midnight on Monday and a decision will be made in the coming days on whether the move is reintroduced at the weekend.