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Over 1,000 people cross the English Channel in 2 days

October 11, 2021 at 10:25 am

Iraqi, Iranian and Afghan migrants with two minors among their number, are escorted as they disembark from a Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (SNSM) vessel in Calais, northern France on 15 September 2021, after being rescued by a SNSM ship from Calais Notre Dame du Risban as their inflatable boat was filling with water in The English Channel. [BERNARD BARRON/AFP via Getty Images]

More than 1,000 people have crossed the English Channel in two days, according to the Home Office.

The Channel is the busiest shipping lane in the world and separates England from France.

On Saturday, the UK rescued 491 people and on Friday 624 people, whilst on those same two days the French authorities stopped 414 people reaching the UK.

Since the start of 2021 17,000 people have crossed the English Channel hoping to seek refuge in England, more than double the amount that crossed last year.

Whilst charities have consistently called on the government to provide safe routes for people attempting to get to the UK, authorities have threatened to put in place more and more deterrents.

At the beginning of September Britain approved plans to turn away boats arriving on their shores despite the fact that a leaked letter from the French interior minister said forcing boats back to the French coast would be dangerous.

READ: Calls for release of 5,000 migrants, refugees held in Libya

Last year it was revealed that the UK’s Home Office was considering using nets and a wave machine to prevent refugees crossing the Channel.

The withdrawal of US and coalition forces from Afghanistan has underscored that the plight of desperate people attempting to reach Europe is not slowing, it is growing, and brought the immigration debate back into the fore.

The government has pledged to take 20,000 Afghan refugees as part of a new resettlement scheme, however, it has also introduced a draft bill that proposes only giving temporary refugee status to refugees arriving “illegally”.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel warned Afghans arriving on small boats across the Channel that they would not be considered an exception to this.

Under the Nationality and Borders bill the government is proposing to transfer asylum seekers out of the country whilst their applications are processed and to speed up judicial decisions to remove people who have had their claims rejected.