Posted on April 2, 2024

Channel Migrant Arrivals Surge by 43% in 2024

Mark White, GB News, April 1, 2024

The number of small boat migrants crossing the English Channel illegally this year has seen a shocking 43 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Official Home Office figures show that another 442 people in nine small boats crossed on Easter Sunday.

Over the Easter weekend, 791 Channel migrants reached UK waters in 16 small boats and were taken to Dover harbour.

A total of 5,435 migrants have arrived since the beginning of the year, well in excess of the 3,793 who had crossed the Channel by small boat at this point in 2023.

The 43 per cent increase in migrant arrivals is a complete reversal of last year, when Home Office officials recorded a 36 per cent fall in arrivals compared to the record year of 2022 when almost 46,000 people crossed the Channel in small boats.

GB News has obtained video of one small boat arrival on Sunday.

Taken by a migrant onboard, it shows the dinghy packed out with Vietnamese and other nationalities, as they made their way towards UK waters.

Maritime experts criticised criminal people smuggling gangs as adopting “stupidly dangerous” tactics by pushing the boats out into bad weather.

Conditions in the English Channel today are now completely impassable for small boats, because of strong winds and waves.

But even yesterday, conditions were very difficult and several lifeboats were scrambled to assist some of the nine small boats which crossed into UK waters.

Labour’s shadow immigration minister Stephen Kinnock said: “A year which started with Rishi Sunak and James Cleverly boasting about the the success of their small boats startegy, is now setting one unwanted record after another for the number of arrivals.

“Their complacency has been laid bare, and their pledge to stop the boats has been left in tatters.

“We will strengthen our border security, crush the smuggling gangs, clear the asylum backlog, end hotel use, and set up a new returns and enforcement unit so those with no right to be in the UK are swiftly returned.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The unacceptable number of people who continue to cross the English Channel demonstrates exactly why we must get flights to Rwanda off the ground as soon as possible.

“We remain committed to building on the successes that saw arrivals drop by more than a third last year, including tougher legislation agreements with international partners, in order to save lives and stop the boats.”