More than 1,000 migrants arrive in UK in 10 days after Channel crossings

More than 1,000 migrants have crossed the Channel in boats within the space of 10 days.
More than 1,000 migrants have crossed the Channel in boats within the space of 10 days. Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

More than 1,000 migrants have arrived in the UK in 10 days by crossing the Channel in boats.

Analysis carried out by the PA news agency has found 1,004 migrants were brought ashore by Border Force between August 4 and 13.

It takes the total so far this year to at least 4,511 - more than double the amount believed to have crossed during the whole of 2019.

The Home Office confirmed 89 migrants crossed into the UK on Thursday on five boats, as well as 48 others who arrived in four boats on Friday.

It comes after immigration minister Chris Philip promised a “new, comprehensive action plan” to stem the latest surge in crossings after talks with French officials in Paris on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) responded to the Home Office’s formal request for help by sending in RAF planes.

Boats were being brought to shore in Dover, Kent Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Three have been sent up into the skies above the Channel this week so far to carry out surveillance and help the coastguard and Border Force spot emerging crossing attempts.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace initially authorised the use of the Atlas A-400M on Monday and since approved flights by a Shadow R1 on Tuesday and Thursday while a P-8 Poseidon was enlisted on Wednesday.

The costs of the operations and decisions on whether to provide any other support are still being finalised, the MoD said.

Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart described sending in the navy as a “declaration of maritime war” during an interview with French broadcasters.

Children are among those making the dangerous crossing Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Home Secretary Priti Patel had pledged to make the crossing an “infrequent phenomenon” and has now promised to make route “completely unviable”.

Bella Sankey, director of Detention Action, accused Ms Patel of “playing politics with people’s lives” as the crossings continue, particularly as many boats include several children some of whom are too young to walk.

She said: “The mishandling of this situation continues and now the Home Secretary is nakedly playing politics with people’s lives and the UK’s proud tradition of providing refugee protection.

“This cruel political strategy is divisive, dangerous and unnecessary – Government needs to do better.”

Dan O’Mahoney, the Home Office’s newly appointed clandestine Channel threat commander, reiterated warnings the crossings were “dangerous and unnecessary”, adding: “I have already met the French and reaffirmed our joint commitment to stopping these crossings and making this route totally unviable.

“I will continue to work with the French to tackle the criminals behind the crossings and the organised crime networks which put people’s lives at risk.

“Twenty-three people smugglers have been jailed this year and two more were charged in recent weeks.”