Number of migrants arriving in UK in small boats tops 10,000 this year
LONDON, United Kingdom, (AFP) – The number of people arriving in the UK in small boats has reached over 10,000 since the start of the year, UK government figures showed Sunday.
The provisional total covering the period up to Saturday stands at 10,139, according to data released by the interior ministry, the Home Office.
The figure is down by over 1,000 on that from the same time last year, when there had been more than 11,300 crossings by June 17.
Last Sunday saw the highest number of crossings on a single day so far this year, with 549 people making the perilous journey.
Crossings have picked up in recent days as a result of a hot spell, with a further 486 arriving on Friday and 374 on Saturday.
Britain’s Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has repeatedly pledged to “stop the boats” and made the issue one of his highest profile priorities.
Immigration has long been a key political issue in the UK and was one of the main battlegrounds of the Brexit referendum in 2016, which saw the country leave the European Union.
Attempts to send failed asylum seekers to Rwanda — prompted by an unprecedented 45,755 crossings in 2022 — have become bogged down in the courts.
Sunak also announced measures last month to curb levels of legal immigration which he described as “too high”.
Net migration hit a record 606,000 in the UK in 2022.