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Channel migrant crossings monthly total rises above 2,000


A total of 2,051 people have made the crossing over the Channel to date in March in 43 boats, according to official figures.

A Home Office spokesperson said: 'We remain committed to building on the successes that saw arrivals drop by more than a third last year, including tougher legislation and agreements with international partners, in order to save lives and stop the boats.'

An average of 48 people have been in each boat in the highest monthly figure so far since the start of 2024.

Last Thursday, March 21, 263 more migrants were picked up in seven boats.

Wednesday, March 20 saw the busiest day so far this year, with 514 migrants reaching the UK in 10 inflatables, figures released by the Home Office showed.

The previous record for 2024 was on March 4 when 401 people arrived in Dover, Kent in seven small boats.

The latest figures bring the total for the year, as it stands, to 4,306 in 91 boats.

In 2023 there were a total of 29,437 in 601 boats compared to 45,755 in 2022.

When confronted by figures showing that the number of people arriving illegally in dinghies is higher than at the same time last year, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt told Sky News: 'When we get flights off to Rwanda, that will send a very strong signal to smugglers and the people that if you come to the UK illegally then there is a very good chance you will be sent straight back abroad.'

Meanwhile, the UK has been shelling out £8million a day on housing migrants in hotels while soldiers are left in rotting barracks or shifted into shipping containers - with the Home Office this month seeking an emergency £2.6billion cash injection to plug a shortfall in its asylum seeker housing budget.

And ministers have been accused of shameful 'double-standards' after it was revealed British military families were being forced to live in squalid homes while migrants were placed in taxpayer-funded hotels.