Record number of asylum seekers cross Channel

Record number of asylum seekers cross Channel

London (Parliament News) – A record number of 12,901 people sought asylum in the UK via small boats in the first half of 2024, surpassing previous years.

How Did 12,901 Asylum Seekers Cross the Channel?

A record number of people pursuing asylum in small boats have struck the Channel over the first six months of this year. Home Office stats reveal 257 people made the trip in four boats, taking the temporary total for the year so far to 12,901.

The previous chronology for arrivals in the six months from January to June was 12,747 in 2022. In the first half of 2023, appearances stood at 11,433. The 2024 tally to date is 17% more elevated than the number of arrivals registered this time last year (11,058) and up 8% on the same course in 2022 (11,975). Last year a total of 29,437 individuals arrived in the UK after traversing the Channel in small boats, down 36% on a document 45,774 in 2022.

The figures have been unleashed a day after it emerged an assistant to the home secretary and a Conservative parliamentary candidate had said the government’s Rwanda scheme was “crap”.

In a leaked tape, James Sunderland, who is heading for re-election in Bracknell, was recorded criticising the approach at a Young Conservatives event in April. More than 3,000 appearances have now been registered since the general election was called on 22 May, with immigration a critical campaign battleground.

Why Are Asylum Seekers Increasing in Small Boats?

In the past six and a half years, as the current migration crisis has grown, 127,246 people have reached the UK after crossing the Channel, data documented since the start of 2018 shows.

A total of 82,265 people have completed the journey since the government struck the delayed deal to ship migrants to Rwanda in April 2022. The calculation of crossings since Rishi Sunak, who promised to “stop the boats”, became PM is 49,964.

What Are the UK’s Plans for Rising Channel Crossings?

Downing Street has stated the government persists to “bear down” on Channel intersections.

Responding to corners hitting a record high for the first half of a year, a No 10 representative said: “We continually adapt and step up our actions to respond to the changing tactics of what are severe criminal gangs facilitating these incredibly difficult journeys.

“But the action that we’ve taken has had consequences. More than 8,000 crossings have been blocked by the French this year already. And more than 10,000 unlawful migrants have been returned to their land of origin. We’ve announced an additional £25m in additional funding to improve investigative capabilities to disrupt the supply chain and improve intelligence sharing.

“So we continue to endure down on this issue. But ultimately, as the PM has also stated on many occasions, we must have the Rwanda program in place so we can have a deterrent which will fundamentally block the business model of these criminal gangs, and in doing so, prevent the boats.”

Ministers have committed to pursue the Rwanda scheme if the Conservatives succeed in the election. Labour has promised to dump it and divert the money to support additional enforcement activity instead.

Daniele Naddei

Daniele Naddei is a journalist at Parliament News covering European affairs, was born in Naples on April 8, 1991. He also serves as the Director of the CentroSud24 newspaper. During the period from 2010 to 2013, Naddei completed an internship at the esteemed local radio station Radio Club 91. Subsequently, he became the author of a weekly magazine published by the Italian Volleyball Federation of Campania (FIPAV Campania), which led to his registration in the professional order of Journalists of Campania in early 2014, listed under publicists. From 2013 to 2018, he worked as a freelance photojournalist and cameraman for external services for Rai and various local entities, including TeleCapri, CapriEvent, and TLA. Additionally, between 2014 and 2017, Naddei collaborated full-time with various newspapers in Campania, both in print and online. During this period, he also resumed his role as Editor-in-Chief at Radio Club 91.
Naddei is actively involved as a press officer for several companies and is responsible for editing cultural and social events in the city through his association with the Medea Fattoria Sociale. This experience continued until 2021. Throughout these years, he hosted or collaborated on football sports programs for various local broadcasters, including TLA, TvLuna, TeleCapri, Radio Stonata, Radio Amore, and Radio Antenna Uno.
From 2016 to 2018, Naddei was employed as an editor at newspapers of national interest within the circuit, including Internazionale24, Salute24, and OggiScuola. Since 2019, Naddei has been one of the creators of the Rabona television program "Calcio è Passione," which has been broadcast on TeleCapri Sport since 2023.