It was reported that over 600 migrants crossed the English Channel on Sunday, the highest single-day total so far this year.
There were a total of 616 people on board twelve tiny vessels that were seen departing France. On April 22nd of this year, there were 497 people present, making it the previous day peak for this year.
More than 8,000 refugees and migrants have embarked on the journey so far this year, which is around 2,000 fewer than at the same time last year. Last week in Dover, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that his plan to reduce the number of migrants traversing the English Channel by boat was working and that numbers had dropped for the first time.
Mr. Sunak reported to Chris Mason, the sources political editor, that the number of people crossing into the United Kingdom had reduced by one-fifth, and that the number of Albanians moving into the country had dropped by ninety percent. Last year at this time, the total had just crossed the 10,000 mark for the first time. During the previous year, there were a total of 45,755 crossings.
Mr. Sunak has made reducing the number of Channel crossings a priority of his premiership, including through the passage of the Illegal Immigration Bill. Anyone entering the United Kingdom without authorization would be detained and promptly deported, either to their native country or a third country like Rwanda.
The bill would establish expansive new detention and search powers, and asylum claims from migrants would be prohibited. It would apply even if an individual claimed to be a victim of modern slavery or human trafficking. The Joint Committee on Human Rights, comprised of MPs and peers, stated earlier this week that it would violate "a number of the United Kingdom's human rights obligations."
Despite the fact that the bill has already been approved by the House of Commons, it was met with a great deal of opposition in the House of Lords on Monday during a discussion that continued until the early hours of Tuesday morning. Liberal Democrat Baroness Ludford stated that the government had "abused, bullied, and intimidated" peers over the plans. However, Mr. Sunak and government ministers argue that stringent measures are required to prevent human trafficking networks from profiting from the treacherous Channel route.
In response to Monday's crossings, a No. 10 spokesperson stated, "A lot of work is being done to stop these criminal gangs in their tracks."However, crossings continue because we have not been able to implement all of our plans, and there is undoubtedly a great deal of work being done across government to that end."
Stephen Kinnock, who is the shadow immigration minister for Labour, said that the prime minister "needs to roll up his sleeves and start doing the hard work, rather than continuing with his headline-chasing, gimmick-based approach to government." Kinnock made this statement in response to a question about how the prime minister should change his approach to governing.