437 migrants cross Channel in a day in record for 2023

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More than 400 people crossed the English Channel in small boats in one day despite an attempted crackdown on illegal migration by the Government.

The Home Office said 437 migrants arrived in the country on Wednesday, the highest number on a single day so far this year.

It brought the cumulative number of crossings in 2023 to a provisional 4,431.

There appeared to be more arrivals on Thursday morning after a group of people thought to be migrants were pictured being picked up by the RNLI and taken to Dover.

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
More people were pictured arriving in Dover on Thursday (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The previous high for this year was 321 people, on January 25.

The total number of crossings last year was 45,755.

It comes as ministers said a barge docked off the Dorset coast will hold around 500 asylum seekers for at least 18 months, despite facing legal threats from local Tories.

Mayor of Portland Peter Roper said it will “put a load” on the isle and south Dorset

However, transport minister Richard Holden told Sky News it is hoped migrants will be housed “as quickly as possible”.

Elsewhere, the Government has made it more difficult for illegal migrants to access bank accounts to prevent them from working.

It will share details of disqualified persons through an anti-fraud organisation, and banks and building societies will then check their personal current account holders against those details.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said: “Access to key banking services, including current accounts, is crucial in aiding those here unlawfully to gain a foothold in British society.

“As the Prime Minister has set out, we are committed to going further and faster to prevent the abuse of our laws and borders.

“Illegal working causes untold harm to our communities, cheating honest workers of employment and defrauding the public purse.

“Only those known to be here unlawfully or those who have absconded from immigrational control will have their details shared, with robust safeguards in place to prevent wrongful account closures.”

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