90 people cross the English Channel in small boats on Christmas Day

A lifeboat returns to Dover Port as part of a rescue operation of a missing migrant boat in Dover, Britain December 14, 2022. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

A lifeboat returns to Dover harbor after a rescue operation earlier this month (Picture Reuters)

Ninety people crossed the English Channel in two small boats on Christmas Day.

So far this year, more than 45,000 migrants have made the dangerous crossing from France to England.

According to the Ministry of Defence, in 2021 there were significantly fewer at almost 28,500.

Just two weeks ago, four people died and 39 others were rescued after a migrant boat got into trouble.

Video footage showed the terrible weather conditions the migrants faced as they attempted to cross into the UK.

At least 67 people were rescued trying to cross the sea on Christmas Day last year.

Migrants apprehended at sea attempting to cross the English Channel are escorted by a British Border Forces boat on arrival at the marina in Dover, southeast England, December 14, 2022. - At least four people are believed to have died on a small boat packed with migrants that capsized in the English Channel overnight in freezing temperatures, the UK government said on December 14, 2022. Lifeboats were launched from Dover Channel Port at 3:07 am UK time (0307 GMT), followed by vessels from Ramsgate and Hastings along the coast, it added. (Photo by CARLOS JASSO/AFP) (Photo by CARLOS JASSO/AFP via Getty Images)

At least four people died in a small boat attempting to cross the English Channel two weeks ago (Image: AFP)

(FILES) Migrants apprehended at sea attempting to cross the English Channel are apprehended by a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat in Dungeness on the south-east coast of England in this file photo taken on December 9, 2022 brought ashore. - UK High Court judges ruled on December 19, 2022 that the UK government's controversial plan to deport migrants to Rwanda was lawful after flights were thwarted by legal challenges from charities and asylum seekers. To deal with the unprecedented number of arrivals, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has sought to continue his predecessor Boris Johnson's plan to deport migrants thousands of miles away to the African country. (Photo by Ben Stansall/AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Around 90 people were picked up by small boats on Christmas Day. Large groups cruised at Dungeness earlier this month (Image: AFP)

MORE: Migrants who died in Channel crossing tragedy not yet identified, inquest hears

MORE: 50 migrants rescued from second sinking boat same night, four died in canal

Border Force agents were pictured taking the groups to Dover in the early hours of Christmas Day.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has identified the small boat crisis as a priority for his presidency.

A government spokesman said: “No one should risk their life by undertaking dangerous and illegal travel.

“We will go further to crack down on the gangs pushing this forward and use every means at our disposal to prevent illegal migration and disrupt the people smugglers’ business model.”

The people who arrived on Sunday were taken to the Western Jet Foil processing center in Dover, the ministry confirmed.

Earlier this month, Mr Sunak announced a series of measures to deal with the problem, including 700 staff for a new unit to monitor small boats crossing the Channel.

He also pledged more staff to help clear some of the UK’s backlog of asylum cases by the end of next year.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/12/26/90-people-cross-the-channel-in-small-boats-on-christmas-day-17998007/ 90 people cross the English Channel in small boats on Christmas Day

Justin Scacco

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