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UK immigration fact-checked: What’s really happening with small boats on our shores | UK | News UK News

Many politicians have claimed they are working to reduce the number of small boats crossing the channel to the UK, but how successful have their attempts been?

At the start of 2023, the Home Office predicted that the number of crossings could reach 85,000, but the number of journeys has actually decreased since 2022, falling from 45,774 to 27,314.

By the end of the year officials predict the total number of crossings will be about 30,000 due to a new returns deal with Albania and poor weather.

Most of those crossing the channel come from Iran according to Home Office stats, followed by a large contingent of Iraqis and Albanians.

Plans to house people who come to the UK by small boat cost the UK taxpayer £5.6m per day in 2022.

The peak season for crossings begins in late summer when calmer weather tends to bring more arrivals. In summer 2022, one month saw 8,641 people cross the channel in a single month.

Crossings typically begin in May as earlier weather conditions make journeys more difficult.

As well as weather conditions causing issues for those travelling to the UK, many of the boats lack sufficient fuel to make the country’s shores, which means boats often have to be rescued by larger ships.

Uncontrolled landings, where a small boat makes it to the UK without being intercepted are rare due to increased observation efforts with only a handful of boats slipping through the net.

Attempts to slow the number of crossings have included the 2022 Nationality and Borders Act and the 2023 the Illegal Migration Bill, which has led to some success in reducing crossings originating from Albania.

But Migrant Watch UK, which tracks the number of crossings, says the impact of the Illegal Migration Bill is yet to be seen.

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This notice was published: 2023-11-15 16:29:00

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