More than 20,000 people have crossed the Channel to the UK in small boats this year, government figures show | UK News

More than 20,000 people have crossed the English Channel to the UK in small boats this year.

At least 607 people reached Britain on Saturday as arrivals in 2022 continue to far exceed last year’s pace.

This comes as the government was accused by lawyers of trying to ‘demonize’ people who support refugees with claims on “leftist lawyers”.

The latest arrivals – who made the dangerous crossing aboard 14 boats – bring this year’s total to more than 20,000 people, according to an analysis by the PA news agency.

Around 60,000 people were expected to cross the Strait of Dover in 2022, more than double the 2021 figure.

In recent years, the Home Office has repeatedly promised to make the route “unviable” for migrants, but the numbers have steadily increased: from 1,843 in 2019 to 28,526 in 2021 .

The government has explored everything since sonic weapons at controversial pushback tactics to try to end the crossings, with questionable results.

Earlier this year, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced it beacon of rwanda offshore processing policywhich has drawn strong criticism from charities and human rights groups.

The plan was immediately challenged in court and the first, and so far only, flight to Kigali was grounded after a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights.

Despite their growing numbers, small boat arrivals in the UK are only a fraction of the number of people heading to Europe.

Data from the UN refugee agency shows that at least 120,441 people arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean by land and sea in 2021.