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Home Office in the media

Latest statement in response to small boat crossings

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A Home Office spokesperson said:

“The unacceptable number of people who continue to cross the Channel demonstrates exactly why we must get flights to Rwanda off the ground as soon as possible.

“We continue to work closely with French police who are facing increasing violence and disruption on their beaches as they work tirelessly to prevent these dangerous, illegal and unnecessary journeys.

“We remain committed to building on the successes that saw arrivals drop by more than a third last year, including tougher legislation and agreements with international partners, in order to save lives and stop the boats.”


  • Weather conditions for crossings recorded over the course of 2023 were similar to conditions in 2022, with only four fewer days likely for crossings recorded in 2023 compared to the previous year.
  • We will do whatever is necessary to end these perilous and fatal journeys, encouraging people to seek safe and legal passage. Since 2015, over 550,000 people have done so.
  • The decrease in crossing numbers is testament to the tough measures we have introduced, the hard work of our dedicated Border Force officers and our work with French counterparts.
  • Illegal migration is an international challenge we are tackling on all fronts – including working upstream with international partners, clamping down on the criminal gangs with stepped-up enforcement, and working with the French to prevent more crossings.
  • We have taken immediate action to speed up asylum processing whilst maintaining the integrity of the system. This includes simplifying guidance and streamlining processes. We have also introduced shorter, focussed interviews, making the interview process more efficient.
  • Measures introduced to tackle illegal migration since the Prime Minister took office include:
    • package of measures agreed with France which will see the deployment of more than double the number of French personnel and enhanced technology to patrol beaches.
    • a strengthened partnership with Turkey which includes UK and Turkish law enforcement officers stepping up joint operations to tackle Organised Immigration Crime and disrupt the supply chain of boat parts and other materials used as part of illegal migration journeys.
    • a new partnership between social media companies and government to tackle people smuggling content online. Backed by a new Online Capability Centre, it will undermine and disrupt organised crime groups using the internet to facilitate these journeys.

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