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Migrant crisis escalates with annual figure passing 10,000 as Farage mocks Sunak

NewsMigrant crisis escalates with annual figure passing 10,000 as Farage mocks Sunak

More than 10,000 people have been detected crossing the English Channel in small boats so far this year, after after numbers spiked in recent days, figures show.

Some 486 people made the crossing on Friday, with a further 374 on Saturday.

The provisional total for 2023 now stands at 10,139, according to the latest data from the Home Office.

There was a total of 45,755 crossings in 2022, with numbers picking up as the weather got warmer.

Crossings have picked up after a quiet spell earlier this month, with 2,529 people reported to have arrived between June 10 and 17.

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This includes 549 crossings on Sunday, June 11, the highest number on a single day so far this year.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made stopping crossings by small boats one of his top priorities for the year, along with cutting NHS waiting lists, growing the economy, halving inflation and reducing the national debt.

Seven boats were detected on Saturday, which suggests an average of around 53 people crossed the Channel per boat.

The total number of crossings so far this year remains below the equivalent number at this point last year.

More than 11,300 crossings had been detected by June 17 2022 – over 1,000 higher than the 10,139 detected so far in 2023.

Former Brexit Party leader-turned GB News presenter Nigel Farage was quick to point the finger at Mr Sunak, tweeting: ”Rishi Sunak is not stopping the boats, not a chance.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman hosted Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, her French opposite number, at the headquarters of the National Crime Agency this week, with the subject of illegal immigration on the agenda.

A Home Office statement issued afterwards said Ms Braverman had welcomed the fact that between January and May of this year, France had stopped a greater number of people crossing than those who managed to reach the UK.

Both ministers agreed it was particularly important to continue close cooperation ahead of the summer months, and the likely increase in small boats trying to cross the English Channel during warmer weather.

Speaking after the meeting, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “The United Kingdom and France are the firmest of friends, and I am delighted to welcome Minister Darmanin to the UK.

“Our cooperation goes from strength to strength, and we are firmly committed to working together in lockstep on our shared global challenges, including stopping the boats.”

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