Wed, 10 Aug 2022

Monday saw 696 migrants and asylum seekers cross the Channel from France to the United Kingdom, on board 14 small boats. The defence ministry described the influx as the highest daily tally for 2022 and only the second time this year that daily crossings have topped 600.

Large groups of people, including young children, were brought ashore at Ramsgate, on the Kent coast in southeast England, before being taken by bus to processing centres.

The latest arrivals suggest the London government's controversial policy of deporting to Rwanda those who survive the dangerous crossing has so far failed to deter migrants.

More than 17,000 people have arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel so far this year, according to government figures.

More than 28,500 arrived on British shores last year. The all-time daily record of 853 Channel crossings was set in November 2021.

The number of crossings fluctuates, depending on weather conditions and enforcement action along the northern French coastline.

The English Channel is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

Send them to Rwanda

In a bid to deter migrants, Britain earlier this year unveiled a policy which involves sending all illegal arrivals for processing and permanent resettlement in Rwanda.

The first flight, due to take off in mid-June, was grounded after a legal challenges, and the policy remains stalled.

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the two Conservative rivals bidding to succeed Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, have both vowed to maintain the Rwanda policy.

Britain has been paying France tens of millions of euros annually to help stop the boat crossings. The money is spent on extra beach patrols and equipment such as night-vision goggles.

Some Conservative critics of the French expenditure say it is a complete waste of money. The UK Interior Minister Priti Patel is shortly expected to announce the latest financial deal with Paris.

Originally published on RFI

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