444 migrants attempt to cross the English Channel in a single day


A total of 444 people were detected crossing the English Channel in small boats on Tuesday, the government said.

It is the highest number of people since 562 were recorded on April 14 earlier this year.

Some 11 boats were detected on Tuesday, suggesting an average of around 40 people crossed the Channel by boat.

By Wednesday morning, more than 50 people, including women and children, had been brought ashore in Dover. The Border Force vessel Typhoon docked and around 38 adults and 15 children were brought ashore. This is the first rescue of what is expected to be a busy day for attempted migrant crossings due to the good weather.

In May, it was reported that 7,240 people had crossed the English Channel since the start of 2022, more than three times the number recorded for the same period in 2021 and more than seven times the number recorded so far in 2020.

The high number of people crossing the English Channel is exactly what the government hopes to curb with its controversial policy of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda.

In April, a joint letter between the British government and the Rwandan foreign minister said they aimed to “disrupt the business model of organized crime gangs and deter migrants from putting their lives at risk”.

A soldier from the Royal Artillery Regiment carries a young child ashore at Dover

/ Getty Images

But a row erupted on Wednesday over that policy after the first deportation flight to Rwanda was canceled at the last minute.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey was unable to say when a second attempt would be made to send a deportation flight to Rwanda after the first failed after a series of court rulings.

Speaking on Sky News, she said: ‘The Home Office is already preparing for the next flight and we will continue to prepare and try to overturn any future legal challenges as well.

But pressed on whether it would be days or weeks, she replied, “I’m not going to get into operational disclosures.”

A small boat used by a group of people thought to be migrants is brought to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the English Channel.

/ Pennsylvania

Up to seven people were due to be flown back to the East African country on the scheduled 10:30 p.m. flight on Tuesday from a military airport in Wiltshire.

But the European court granted injunctions blocking the removal of those who were to be on the plane.

It was reported that the appeals had been considered by a judge outside working hours on paper, reversing previous UK rulings. The tribunal decided that there was “a real risk of irreversible harm” for the asylum seekers involved.

A number of Conservative MPs called on the government to reduce the scope of the European Convention on Human Rights or the European Court of Human Rights in Britain.