Nearly 700 people cross the Channel in small boats setting new daily record

21022022 - Migrants crossing the English Channel
More than 17,000 people have arrived in the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes this year Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Almost 700 people crossed the Channel in small boats to the UK in a single day, a record for the year so far.

Some 696 made the journey in 14 boats on Monday (1 August), the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

This is the highest number on a single day so far this year, and only the second time in 2022 the daily figure has topped 600.

The previous highest number was 651 recorded on 13 April.

The latest crossings saw large groups of people, including young children, brought ashore in Ramsgate before leaving the Kent port on double-decker buses.

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics

The data suggests there was an average of around 50 people on each boat that day.

More than 17,000 people have arrived in the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats such as dinghies so far in 2022, according to Government figures.

Some 3,683 people made the illegal crossing on 90 boats in July, the highest monthly total this year. Journeys took place on 20 out of 31 days.

It is more than three months since Home Secretary Priti Patel unveiled plans to send people to Rwanda to try to deter them from crossing the Channel.

Since then 11,827 people have arrived in the UK after making the journey.

On 14 April, Ms Patel signed what she described as a “world-first” agreement with Rwanda under which the east African nation will receive people who are deemed by the UK to have arrived “illegally” and are therefore inadmissible under new immigration rules.

But the first deportation flight, due to take off on June 14, was grounded amid legal challenges.

Several asylum seekers, the Public and Commercial Services union and charities Care4Calais, Detention Action and Asylum Aid are challenging the legality of the Home Office policy, with the next court hearings due in September and October.