A record number of migrants crossed the English Channel and reached the UK on Tuesday, September 10th. UK Border Force and Coastguard officials brought ashore 80 migrants in separate incidents at Dover, Littlestone, Pett Level and Dungeness.
The Home Office confirmed that the migrants, from at least eight different countries, came across in six boats carrying men, women and children. They said two boats reached UK shores in East Sussex without being intercepted, but the occupants, made up of Iranians, Iraqis and Turks, were detained. The others were brought ashore by officials; the migrants claimed to be Afghan, Pakistani, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Ethiopian.
The number of 80 people caught attempting to enter Britain through the Channel in one day is a record for the UK. In comparison, the total figure for 2018 is 297. This month, the number had already reached 110.
Various reasons were thought to have boosted the numbers yesterday. These ranged from an especially calm sea, new attempts about to be put into place by French authorities to intercept crossings and fearmongering by unscrupulous traffickers over the Brexit deadline of October 31st.
Last month, Home Secretary Priti Patel met her French counterpart Christophe Castaner to discuss the migrant issue, and they both pledged to “intensify joint action to tackle small boat crossings in the Channel” by "drawing up an enhanced action plan to deploy more resources along the French coast to intercept and stop crossings."
Pierre-Henri Dumont, Conservative MP for Calais told the BBC, "Now everyday they [migrants in Northern France] can see the English coast here in Calais. Do you really think controls, police forces, cameras, walls, will stop them from trying to cross? No, never."