Another 233 migrants attempt to cross Channel amid Rwanda flight storm


More than 200 people were rescued from the English Channel and brought ashore on Wednesday, according to the latest figures.

Warm weather and light winds provided ideal crossing conditions and, according to the MoD, six boats were intercepted and 233 people brought ashore.

The crossings continued on Thursday, with the Border Force vessel Hurricane bringing four children and two adults ashore in Dover.

It was at least the second ship to land in the city on Thursday, with more expected throughout the day.

On Wednesday, two border force boats brought about 150 people ashore, including about 30 children.

However, Border Force and RNLI vessel activity suggests some people may have been taken ashore at Dungeness or Ramsgate.

People are then put on buses and directed to treatment centres.

The majority of those disembarked at Dover on Wednesday were men aged in their late teens to 30s or 40s, but there were also a number of women and young children.

Countries of origin for people landing at Dover included Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt.

The crossings have continued despite the possibility of migrants being sent to Rwanda – although the first scheduled flight to the African country was blocked at the last minute on Tuesday.

It is not yet clear when the next flight to Rwanda is expected to take place, but Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has hinted that the second flight may not take place for weeks.

Asked on LBC Radio when the first flight of migrants might leave for Rwanda, Mr Raab said: “I don’t think I can give a precise date.

“The important thing to understand is that this ongoing legal challenge is about injunctions. A full hearing is due in a few weeks. All topics can be posted there.

“I expect and hope, because we are confident in our position, that we get some clarification from the UK courts and then we can move on.

“But of course now there’s the question mark over Strasbourg’s intervention, so we’ll have to see how that goes.”

The first flight originally scheduled for Tuesday evening was interrupted following an injunction from the European Court of Human Rights.

Following the intervention, Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was disappointed and found the decision “surprising”.

Shortly after, Downing Street confirmed that the government was considering withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights, after the Prime Minister hinted that some rules may need to be changed to allow future departures .

Commenting on the departure from the convention, which the UK helped shape after World War II, a No 10 spokesman said: ‘We are keeping all options on the table as part of our work to resolve the issues raised by the repeated and sometimes unsubstantiated assertions that we see consistent with removal flights, while obviously ensuring that we continue to protect the vulnerable.

“We will do whatever it takes to implement this new approach, including being prepared to explore any additional legal reforms that may be necessary.”