Highest number of people cross English Channel in single day so far this year

Some 882 people crossed the English Channel on Tuesday, which is the highest number on a single day so far this year.

The new figure, revealed by the Home Office, tops the previous 2024 record of 711 and marks the highest daily total since 29 November 2022, when 947 people arrived.

The Home Office also said 15 boats made the journey, suggesting an average of about 59 people per boat.

Having 15 boats cross in a single day has only happened twice in the past year - the last occurrence being on 2 September 2023.

The number of arrivals by small boats in 2024 now stands at a provisional total of 12,313, which is 18% higher than the total at the equivalent point last year, when it was 10,472.

It's also 5% higher than the total at this stage in 2022, which was 11,690.

There were 29,437 arrivals across the whole of 2023, down 36% on a record 45,774 arrivals in 2022.

The government has promised to "stop small boats", but made clear that does not mean there will be zero crossings.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has not defined how low a number they are targeting.

The tally of crossings since Mr Sunak became prime minister in October 2022 is almost 50,000, now standing at 49,376.

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More than 2,000 arrivals have been recorded since the general election was called on 22 May, with 2,431 people crossing as immigration forms a key campaign battleground.

As the recent migrant crisis unfolded, 126,658 people have arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel over the past six and a half years, according to data recorded since the start of 2018.

Some 81,677 people have made the journey since the government struck the stalled deal to send migrants to Rwanda in April 2022.

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In the early hours of Tuesday, around 85 migrants were understood to have been rescued from small boats in the English Channel.

A Home Office spokesperson said on Tuesday: "We continue to work closely with our French partners to prevent crossings and save lives."

A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said they had been "coordinating the response" to small boats crossing the Channel on Tuesday morning.

The RNLI said: "On Tuesday 18 June, Dover and Dungeness all-weather lifeboats launched to assist with incidents in the Channel."