The UK describes a number of “unacceptable” attempts to cross the English Channel

The United Kingdom on Friday described the number of migrants trying to cross the English Channel clandestinely from France as “unacceptable” after record numbers in the past 24 hours.

“British citizens are tired of watching people die in the English Channel as ruthless criminal gangs profit from their misery,” a Home Office spokesperson said, adding that planned changes to immigration laws “would fix the broken system”.

About 1,000 people arrived in the UK on Thursday using small boats to cross the English Channel, a new record in a crisis that has deepened for several years.

This new number will surpass the previous record of 853 people set earlier this month, according to Home Office statistics.

On Friday, French authorities reported that three migrants were missing after trying to cross the canal in a kayak.

“The national police ship Yulimin could rescue two untouchables. Unfortunately, the untouchables reported the loss of three more people,” a statement said.

Irregular crossings of the English Channel have increased since 2018, despite the danger associated with intense maritime traffic, strong currents and low water temperatures.

The Palestinian Authority’s Palestinian News Agency estimates that more than 21,000 people have crossed the canal by boat since the beginning of the year, more than double what it was in the entire previous year.

jj / jwp / sag / mar

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Sacha Woodward

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