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Channel crossings rise despite PM’s ‘stop the boats’ pledge

todayAugust 12, 2023 3

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Channel crossings rise despite PM’s ‘stop the boats’ pledge

More than 10,000 people are known to have crossed the English Channel in small boats so far this year, latest figures show.

A jump in arrivals in recent days – 486 on Friday and 374 on Saturday – saw the total rise to 10,139.

The real number could be higher, as that count only takes into account those who have been detected making the dangerous journey in 2023.

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Home Office data shows crossings have picked up over the past week after a relatively quiet spell earlier this month, coinciding with improving summer weather.

Last Sunday saw the highest number of crossings on a single day so far, with 549.

The figures come despite the government introducing a controversial plan to ban small boat arrivals in March, which Home Secretary Suella Braverman admitted would “push the boundaries of international law”.

Labour said this week’s increase in Channel crossings showed the “dismal failure” of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, after he made “stop the boats” one of his key pledges.

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Channel crossings won’t stop ‘overnight’

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said the Tory leader “had no idea of how to turn it around”.

“Labour has a serious plan to fix the Tories small boats chaos, fast-tracking safe countries’ cases to clear the backlog and end hotel use and setting up a cross-border police unit to stop people smuggler gangs,” she added.

It comes after the government was warned its main asylum processing facility in Manston in Kent could be overwhelmed again, less than a year after it suffered a diphtheria outbreak amid severe overcrowding.

But the number of crossings so far in 2023 does remain below the total from this time a year ago.

More than 11,300 journeys had been detected by 17 June 2022. The total count for last year was 45,755.

Written by: Newsroom

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