Migrants crossing Channel down 17% this year below 2022 figure

Migrants crossing Channel down 17% this year below 2022 figure

Number of migrants who crossed the Channel in first three months of 2023 was 17% below the figure for the same period last year, analysis shows

  • Data reveals 3,793 migrants crossed this year by March compared with 4,548 
  • The Home Secretary is facing more questions about migrant Rwanda flights

The total number of migrants who crossed the Channel to the UK in the first three months of this year was 17 per cent below the figure for the same period in 2022.

Analysis of Government figures shows 3,793 migrants made the journey from France by the end of March 2023, compared with 4,548 in the first quarter of last year.

Last month 840 people arrived on the south coast after crossing the Channel – just over a quarter of the 3,066 recorded in March 2022 – and only slightly higher than the figure for March 2021 (831).

According to Home Office data, 1,180 people made the journey in January this year, followed by 1,773 in February.

This is compared with 1,339 in January 2022 and 143 a month later. Amid changeable weather conditions at sea, no crossings have been recorded since March 29.

It comes as the Home Secretary faced more questions about when flights sending migrants to Rwanda could take off.

The total number of migrants who crossed the Channel to the UK in the first three months of this year was 17 per cent below the figure for the same period in 2022

Analysis of Government figures shows 3,793 migrants made the journey from France by the end of March 2023, compared with 4,548 in the first quarter of last year (migrants pictured being picked up at sea in Dover in September 2020)

Last month 840 people arrived on the south coast after crossing the Channel – just over a quarter of the 3,066 recorded in March 2022 – and only slightly higher than the figure for March 2021 (831) (pictured, migrants at the Dover Docks in August 2022)

It comes after Suella Braverman (pictured on Monday) appeared to downplay suggestions the stalled policy of deporting asylum seekers could begin this summer

It comes after Suella Braverman appeared to downplay suggestions the stalled policy of deporting asylum seekers could begin this summer.

The Government’s plan to forcibly remove migrants to the African nation is currently grounded by the courts. It was deemed lawful by the High Court, but legal challenges continue.

As she toured broadcasting studios at the weekend she also insisted ministers were looking at ‘all sorts of land and sites and vessels’ to house asylum seekers in the UK, but refused to say whether the Government was close to signing a deal on a procuring a barge.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Ms Braverman have said that ‘stopping the boats’ across the Channel is a crucial priority, but campaigners have condemned much of the Government’s response, with the latest proposed legislation – the Illegal Migration Bill – described as an effective ‘asylum ban’.

Meanwhile, ministers prompted a further outcry from critics last week as they unveiled plans to house asylum seekers in disused military bases to accommodate their ‘essential living needs and nothing more’, with ferries and barges also being explored as options. 

It comes after villagers near RAF Scampton criticised the Home Office’s decision to turn an iconic airbase into temporary housing for asylum seekers, with one complaining that ‘everyone will lose out’.  

RAF Scampton was the Dambusters squadron’s HQ and housed the Red Arrows for 20 years, and will be used to accommodate 2,000 asylum seekers despite significant opposition from locals and Conservative MPs. 

West Lindsey District Council fears the move will jeopardise a £300million regeneration project to turn the site into a heritage, aviation and research centre – and is now plotting a High Court injunction to block the move. 

Meanwhile, residents of the tiny Lincolnshire village of Scampton argued the decision ‘doesn’t make sense for anybody’, with one man complaining: ‘Everyone involved is going to lose out, including the asylum seekers.’

It comes after villagers near RAF Scampton criticised the Home Office ‘s decision to turn an iconic airbase into temporary housing for asylum seekers, with one complaining that ‘everyone will lose out’.  Pictured, The main entrance to RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire

Greg Algar, landlord of the village’s popular pub, the Dambusters Inn, said: ‘This is staggering incompetence from the Government, and so many people living here, and visiting, are whole heartedly against it and can’t believe what the village is being forced into having’

Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, confirmed yesterday that 3,700 people would be housed at Scampton and RAF Wethersfield in Essex, with an extra 1,200 going to a separate site in East Sussex. 

The third location is a former prison in Bexhill that went on to be used as a training facility by the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Jenrick said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was ‘bringing forward proposals’ to use the Catterick Garrison barracks to house asylum seekers in his constituency to show ‘leadership’.

Locals in Scampton have spoken out against the development.  

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