Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Offical figures say 850 illegal immigrants have crossed the Channel since lockdown: How many don't we know about?


Another 14 migrants have been intercepted in the English Channel, bringing the offical number who have made it to the UK since the coronavirus lockdown began to more than 850.

The migrants, who presented themselves as Syrian, Pakistani, Afghan and Kuwaiti, were brought into Dover yesterday after they were stopped by a Border Force vessel in the Channel. 

The latest arrivals mean more than 1,200 migrants are believed to have been intercepted while making the perilous crossing and brought to Dover since the start of the year.

This comes as Home Office chiefs say Boris Johnson's fortnight quarantine rule for travellers entering Britain will extend to those caught trying to cross the country's borders illegally.

None of the migrants intercepted in the Channel and brought to Britain this year have been tested for coronavirus.

So far this year at least 1,200 migrants have been intercepted in the Channel and brought into the UK, including almost 476 in April alone - the highest monthly figure ever recorded.

The figure is fast approaching the 1,850 migrants who made it to Britain throughout the whole of 2019.

Earlier this month, a new plan to combat the Channel migrant crisis which would see more boats turned back to France has been put forward by the Home Secretary.

Priti Patel has asked the French to take responsibility for vessels even if they reach British waters, it is understood. 

Currently migrants are escorted to British ports if they reach our maritime territory, but officials believe it would undermine people-trafficking gangs if the boats are returned to France.

Mrs Patel's plan would also see the British taxpayer funding more patrols on the French coast.