Channel crossings fall 17% in the first quarter of the year compared to 2022

The total number of migrants crossing the English Channel to the UK in the first three months of this year was 17% below the figure for the same period in 2022.

The PA news agency’s analysis of government figures shows that 3,793 migrants made the journey from France at the end of March 2023, compared with 4,548 in the first quarter of last year.

Last month, 840 people arrived on the south coast after crossing the English Channel – just over a quarter of the 3,066 registered in March 2022 – and only slightly above the figure for March 2021 (831).

According to data from the Ministry of the Interior, 1,180 people made the trip in January this year, followed by 1,773 in February. This compares to 1,339 in January 2022 and 143 a month later.

Amid changing weather conditions at sea, there have been no crossings since March 29.

It comes as the interior minister faced more questions about when flights sending migrants to Rwanda could take off.

Suella Braverman appeared to downplay suggestions that the stalled policy of deporting asylum seekers could begin this summer.

(PA charts)
(PA charts)

The government’s plan to forcibly remove migrants to the African nation is currently upheld in the courts. The High Court found it legal, but legal challenges continue.

While touring broadcast studios at the weekend, he also insisted that ministers were looking at “all types of land, sites and boats” to house asylum seekers in the UK, but declined to say whether the government was close to signing an agreement to obtain a barge.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Ms Braverman have said that ‘stopping the ships’ crossing the Channel is a crucial priority, but campaigners have condemned much of the Government’s response, with the latest proposed legislation, the Bill of Illegal Migration, described as an “effective asylum”. prohibition”.

Meanwhile, ministers drew further outcry from critics last week when they unveiled plans to house asylum seekers on disused military bases to meet their “essential necessities of life and nothing more”, and also explored ferries and barges as options.


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