Record Number of Illegal Migrants Cross English Channel in First Three Months of the Year

A record number of illegal migrants crossed the English Channel in the first three months of the year despite claims from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government of success in “stopping the boats”.

A further 338 foreigners were recorded reaching British shores on people smuggler-operated boats launched from the beaches of France on Tuesday, taking the total to 4,644 since the start of the year, according to an analysis of Home Office figures from The Telegraph.

The latest Channel crossings on the 26th and 21st — other days in the past week have seen stronger weather, dissuading smuggler boats, mean that this year has surpassed the record high set in 2022 of 4,162 by the end of March and over 20 per cent higher than the 3,770 seen during the first quarter of last year.

While Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attempted to take credit for a downswing in illegal boat migration, with 29,437 arriving last year compared to the record set in 2022 of 45,774, the current rate is on pace for a new high.

Sunak had credited his government’s move to give France an additional £480 million to step up patrols of migrant launching hotspots along the coast for last year’s reduction in numbers. However, even the typically migrant-friendly BBC reported that the decline was more likely a result of there simply being fewer days with navigable waters in the Channel due to bad weather.

The Tory government’s other main deterrence policy, sending boat migrants to asylum processing centres in the East African nation of Rwanda, has been on hold since the summer of 2022 when the European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) controversially intervened to prevent a migrant removal flight from taking off.

Although the UK had already left the European Union, it is still bound by the ECHR given that it is technically a separate institution — despite sharing the same Strasbourg campus, flag, and anthem — and therefore Britain’s membership within the scheme was not impacted by Brexit.

Rather than taking the step favoured by mass migration critics and withdrawing from the ECHR, Sunak’s government has sought to remedy the issue with legislation. The government’s first attempt was struck down by the UK Supreme Court and its supposed fix has been stuck in parliamentary limbo for months.

While the government had hoped that the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill would finally clear Parliament this week, after suffering defeats in the House of Lords, the legislation has been delayed again until after the Easter recess.

This means the government’s target of starting migrant removal flights to Rwanda in May is unlikely, with the earliest starting date likely being in June; about two years after the scheme was first floated by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said of the delay: “The legislation is dealing with a migration emergency, and we are introducing that legislation as soon as we possibly can to reduce the number of people taking the perilous journey across the Channel.”

The failure of the government to prevent thousands of foreigners from breaking into the country every month has become a key point of contention with the increasingly dissatisfied electorate, with a survey this week finding that the Nigel Farage-founded Reform UK party now polls higher than the Conservatives in terms of trust to craft immigration policies.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on X: Follow @KurtZindulka or e-mail to:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Larry David Launches Tirade on Trump: ‘He’s So Sick’

Four Dead, Five Injured In ‘Senseless’ Illinois Mass…Stabbing?