Record number of migrants entering UK via English Channel | Sunday Observer

Record number of migrants entering UK via English Channel

9 January, 2022

One of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, the English Channel, is being used as a route to enter the UK illegally. According to figures from the Home Office, more than 28,300 migrants crossed the English Channel last year.

This perilous journey begins in Calais, France with the aim to arrive in Kent, UK by small boats. However, not every person is fortunate as 27 people drowned last November after their boat sank in the Channel.

In June 2021, the UK signed a £54M agreement with France, to help prevent boats from crossing the channel illegally. Although France has been able to stop hundreds of boats, many have still managed to pass through. The number of people crossing the Channel illegally has tripled since 2020, and is becoming a cause for concern as it appears the UK has lost control over its borders.

It is also a humanitarian concern as Home Office Minister, Tom Pursglove MP, said, “We fundamentally believe that people should seek asylum in the first safe country that they reach, and should not be making dangerous journeys across the Channel.”

The high chance of staying has made the UK a desirable destination for migrants as the majority of asylum seekers arriving by boat are granted asylum.

In the past, large numbers of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees were granted asylum after the 1983 riots and also some members of the JVP.

Last year, the top five countries of origin of people applying for asylum were Iran, Eritrea, Albania, Iraq and Syria.

Home Secretary, Priti Patel, acknowledges this is a complicated issue and that there is no simple fix.

“It will be impossible to stop illegal immigration without the cooperation between all international partners and agencies” she said.