Hundreds cross English Channel as PM announces Rwanda migration plan

Border Force and the RNLI brought women, children and men ashore in Dover.

14 April 2022

Hundreds of people have crossed the English Channel on the day the Government announced plans to send asylum seekers to be processed in Rwanda.

Women, children and men were brought ashore at Dover, Kent, on several occasions through Thursday by Border Force and RNLI boats.

At least two people, who were apparently poorly following the crossing, were helped off the boats.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put the Royal Navy in “operational command” from Thursday of handling boats crossing the Channel while, under newly revealed plans, those detained could be flown to Rwanda.

More than 5,000 migrants are thought to have arrived in the UK this year so far after crossing the Channel.

Since the start of 2022, 4,617 people had reached the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats as of Tuesday, according to data obtained from the Home Office and compiled by the PA news agency.

It is understood that a further 600 arrived on Wednesday with hundreds more on Thursday, although these figures have not yet been confirmed.

The previous highest daily total for this year was recorded on March 15 when 405 people made the crossing in 12 boats, analysis shows.

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
A young child was amongst a group of people arriving in Dover (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A record 1,185 people made the crossing to the UK on November 11 2021 – the highest recorded since the start of 2020.

In March this year, 3,066 people made the crossing.

This is nearly four times the amount recorded for the same month in 2021 (831) and more than 16 times the amount for 2020 (187).

It is also the fourth highest monthly total recorded since the start of 2020, behind July (3,510), September (4,652) and November (6,869) last year.

A total of 28,395 people made the crossing in 2021, compared with 8,417 in 2020.

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