Roy Gilbert

Migrant crossings: What happens to migrants who reach the UK?

Getty Images Migrants arrive in Dover The government is pressing ahead with controversial plans to change the UK’s asylum system.

People it says have arrived without authorisation or illegally – such as in dinghies on the English Channel – would have fewer entitlements if their asylum claim was successful. What happens to migrants in the English Channel?

If migrants are found in UK national waters, it is likely they will be brought to a British port.

If they are in international waters, the UK will work with French authorities to decide where to take them. Each country has search-and-rescue zones. Map showing search and rescue areas Given the short distance between Dover and Calais, there are no international waters where many migrants cross.

Once migrants are in the UK, they are usually taken to short-term holding centres. Why are migrants crossing the English Channel?

Patel pledges overhaul of asylum seeker rules

How many migrants are crossing the Channel? The numbers change with the seasons – but in July 2021, there was a record 430 arrivals in a day .As of mid-summer, 8,000 arrivals had crossed the Channel – but it’s important to consider that figure as part of a bigger picture.In 2019, some 45,000 people sought asylum in the UK. So, the dinghies are only part of the total.The UK receives about a third of the asylum applications of France and 1% of all the 4,000,000 refugees in Turkey.At current rates, cross-Channel arrivals will remain nowhere near the […]

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