Illegal English Channel Crossings Reach New Daily Record

By Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
November 5, 2021 Updated: November 5, 2021

At least 853 people illegally crossed the English Channel to the UK on small boats in a single day on Nov. 3, marking a new record.

The Home Office confirmed UK authorities had to rescue or intercept this number of people from 25 incidents.

The arrival tally eclipses the previous daily record of 828 set in August and is the highest number of crossings ever recorded in one day in the current crisis, according to data compiled by the PA news agency.

It comes after French authorities said two migrants died this week while attempting the journey and several more were feared to have been lost at sea last week.

More than 21,000 migrants have made the crossing to the UK so far this year, analysis by PA shows. This is more than double the total for the whole of 2020.

In 2019, Home Secretary Priti Patel promised to make migrant crossings an “infrequent phenomenon” by spring 2020 and then pledged in August last year to “make this route unviable”. During this time, the Government has agreed to pay France millions of pounds to increase security on its northern coast.

Campaigners and aid charities have repeatedly called on ministers to overhaul the asylum system in light of the soaring numbers.

PA contributed to this report