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More than 3,000 asylum seekers cross Channel in June

Data shows more than 3,000 asylum seekers crossed the English Channel in June - the highest monthly total this year.

Some 3,136 made the dangerous crossing on 76 boats in the 30-day period, with journeys taking place on 19 of those days.

The boat crossings have continued over four years
The boat crossings have continued over four years

Of the 12,690 people who made the journey in the first half of this year, the second highest month for crossings was 3,074 in March, PA news agency reports.

After navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats such as dinghies, 2,871 made the crossing in May, 2,143 in April, 1,322 in January and 144 in February, according to Home Office figures for the first quarter of the year and subsequent data collected by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The highest month on record since 2018 was for 6,971 crossings in November 2021.

The total for 2022 so far is more than five times the amount recorded between January and June 2020 (2,493) and more than double the six-month tally for the first half of last year (5,917).

Rescued asylum seekers are first brought to Dover
Rescued asylum seekers are first brought to Dover

Crossings continued yesterday with 94 people arriving in Dover, in two boats.

The figures indicate 51,824 people have made the crossing since 2018.

Home Office figures show 28,526 crossed in 2021, compared with 8,466 in 2020, 1,843 in 2019 and 299 in 2018.

Despite the increasing numbers, the UK’s small boat arrivals are a fraction of the number of people going to Europe.

Data from the UN Refugee Agency shows at least 120,441 people arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean by land and sea in 2021.

Earlier this week, Home Secretary Priti Patel struck a fresh deal with Nigeria, which her department said will do more to tackle “illegal migration” and speed up the “removal of foreign criminals”.

At the same time, the Home Office said 13 people who had “no right to be in the UK” were deported to Nigeria, with a further eight flown to Ghana.

Earlier this week it was also revealed that as part of the new Nationality and Borders Act, which received Royal Assent in April, anyone caught piloting a vessel carrying asylum seekers towards the Kent could face life in prison if found guilty.

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