Small boat arrivals hit record level with largest number of migrant crossings on single day this year

More than 600 migrants have been taken for processing in Kent on Monday

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Small boat arrivals have hit a record level, with the largest number of people crossing on a single day this year, GB News has been told.

More than 600 migrants were taken for processing in Kent on Monday, after authorities intercepted around a dozen small boats over a 10 hour period.

Since first light, Border Force, lifeboats and the Royal Navy have been responding to multiple reports of small boats crossing into UK waters.

At the entrance to Ramsgate Harbour, GB News’ Kent producer filmed as two Border Force vessels, the Catamarans Typhoon and Volunteer arrived together, to unload dozens of people.

Migrants arriving in Kent
Migrants arriving in Kent

For the past week, Border Force has been using Ramsgate as an alternative landing spot for Channel migrants, because of the traffic chaos around Dover.

Those taken to Ramsgate are being bussed to the nearby Ministry of Defence base at Manston, where part of the site is now being used as a secondary processing centre.

With the crisis at the port of Dover easing, it is understood that most operations will return to Dover harbour on Tuesday.

This year’s previous record for the largest number of people arriving on small boats in a single day was reached on 14 April, when 562 people arrived.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Ramsgate, Kent
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Ramsgate, Kent

On Saturday 460 people arrived in Kent after being pulled off 12 small boats.

Today’s total of 600, surpassing the previous one-day total, also brings the number who have arrived by small boat so this year to around 17,000.

It comes as the Home Secretary is reported to be close to agreeing the renewal of a controversial multi-million pound borders deal with France.

The UK has paid France more than £80 million over the past two years, to enhance surveillance and poilicing along the beaches in north western France, where the small boats set off from.

The French have been criticised by many on the UK side of the Channel for not doing enough to stop migrant boats taking to the water.

But the Home Office claims French authorities have been playing their part in efforts to stop cross-Channel people smuggling.

A spokesperson said that with around 29,000 people attemtping to cross so far this year, authorities in France had managed to stop 13,500 of them.