LONDON, Jan. 1 – The number of people crossing the English Channel by boat to reach the UK's coasts fell by a third in 2023 compared to the previous year, the first annual decline since then. .
The total number of migrants arriving by boat in 2023 provisionally stands at 29,437, 36% lower than the record 45,774 who crossed last year, according to British media outlets published today.
According to Home Office records, the last boat arrival this year was on December 16, when 55 people arrived from France on the coast of the United Kingdom.
Since the count of boat arrivals began in 2018, most of them from the French city of Calais, more than 100,000 migrants and asylum seekers have crossed the canal.
But the ISU border guard union warned that this reduction is temporary and the number will rise again in 2024.
Lucy Moreton, a spokeswoman for the ISU, told the BBC they were working on the basis that boat arrivals last year were “unusually low”, and that factors such as the strong winds recorded in 2023 affected fewer people trying to jump into the sea. It is considered very dangerous.
At the same time, he stressed that more ships with larger capacity and better equipped for navigation have been registered, which is why they believe that in 2024 more illegal immigrants will arrive.
“Border and country forces need to continue to provide resources to deal with the larger numbers,” Moreton said.
Governor Rishi Sunak has identified ending boat access as one of his government's five main goals, and immigration is expected to be one of the main themes of the upcoming UK general election scheduled for this year. Evie
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