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More than 1,000 people cross the Channel in small boats

A group of people thought to be migrants arrive in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)
A group of people thought to be migrants arrive in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

More than 1,000 people crossed the English Channel in small boats the day after the total for the year exceeded 30,000, according to Government figures.

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that 21 boats were intercepted on Thursday carrying 1,150 people.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

This is the third highest daily figure in 2022 and brings the total to have made the crossing so far this year to 31,665.

The number of arrivals this week has led officials to erect special tents at Dover, Kent, to keep migrants covered as they appear to be overflowing from existing facilities while being processed.

It is more than five months since then-home secretary Priti Patel announced plans to send migrants to Rwanda to try to deter people from crossing the Channel.

Since then, 26,397 people have arrived in the UK after making the journey.

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
Groups of people thought to be migrants are housed in tents after being brought in to Dover, Kent, from Border Force vessels (Gareth Fuller/PA)

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

However, 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 embroiled in court cases with the Home Office as they challenge the legality of the policy.