More than 45,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel last year to reach the United Kingdom from continental Europe. This is nearly double the figure from the previous year, according to official figures.
Overall, last year 45,756 persons made the dangerous crossing across the Channel last year, with most using small boats, which are barely able to navigate the choppy waters. The English Channel, however, is one of the busiest navigation routes in the world, making the short voyage extremely dangerous. In 2021, the number of people making the same journey was only 28,526.
These latest figures were published by the British government on Sunday, highlighting what might become a major political problem for the governing Conservative Party, which for several consecutive governments has vowed to reduce irregular immigration and to eliminate human smuggling rings.
The last year also now holds the record for the highest number of migrants crossing the English Channel in one single day: on August 22, 2022, 1,295 persons succeeded in making their way to the UK amid milder summer temperatures.
More deaths on the English Channel
Only last month, four people died when a small boat overcrowded with migrants capsized, as they were trying to reach the UK amid the freezing temperatures in the Channel. A fishing boat trawling in the area managed to rescue 43 persons that day.
The tragedy took place a year after tragedy when 27 persons drowned in the Channel.
Read more: 'Either we die from the cold, or we drown in the sea': Despite Channel drownings, migrants determined to cross