UK: Migrants arriving by sea top 10,000 this year

UK: Migrants arriving by sea top 10,000 this year
Migrants being disembarked at Dover on 19 May

LONDON, May 26 (NNN-AGENCIES) — More than 10,000 irregular migrants have crossed the Channel to Britain on small boats this year, government data released on Saturday showed — unwelcome news for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as he seeks re-election.

Conservative Party leader Sunak had pledged to stop the crossings but some 288 asylum seekers made the journey in five boats on Friday, taking the provisional total for 2024 so far to 10,170, according to the interior ministry figures.

That is up 35 percent on the number recorded this time last year.

The number of undocumented migrants arriving via sea had already reached a record high for the first five months of a calendar year.

On Wednesday, Sunak called a general election for July 4, firing the starting gun on six weeks of campaigning in which immigration is already featuring heavily.

He was forced to admit on Thursday that his flagship scheme to forcibly deport thousands of asylum seekers to Rwanda would not start before polling day.

The main opposition Labour Party has promised it will scrap the controversial plan, branding it an expensive gimmick that won’t work.

Labour also says immigration levels are too high and has promised to crack down on smuggling gangs profiting from the small boat crossings.

A YouGov poll released on Saturday gave Labour, led by Keir Starmer, a 22-point lead over the Tories. — NNN-AGENCIES


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