In 2021, more than 28,000 migrants reached England via France. It is a record, and this phenomenon poisons Franco-British relations.
This year 2021 has seen the number of crossings on board small boats triple.
Indeed, 28,395 migrants have reached England, three times more than in 2020, according to the British Home Office.
Since 2018, the closure of the port of Calais and the Eurotunnel has caused a notable increase in boat crossings. Previously, migrants hid more in vehicles.
Almost 7,000 crossings in November alone
In November 2021, nearly 6,900 people crossed despite the danger of traffic density, strong currents and low water temperature. On November 11, a record crossing was recorded with 1,185 people who migrated on the same day.
However, if some managed to reach the English coast, others failed. The sinking of precarious boats have also increased. The deadliest took place at the end of November, causing the death of 27 people and sparking a wave of emotion among the general public.
The United Kingdom in the fight against the phenomenon
For Boris Johnson, the fight against illegal crossings has become a real headache. The British Prime Minister has even made it his number one priority since the finalization of Brexit.
In addition, the British government considers that the efforts on the French side are insufficient to prevent these migrations, despite the payment of financial aid. For their part, the French refute these accusations.
After the deadly shipwreck at the end of November, Franco-British tensions intensified. Boris Johnson asked that it be the French to take back the migrants who crossed the Channel illegally.
The English want to make the crossings “impracticable”. A controversial bill, which promises severe penalties against smugglers but also against migrants. The text is currently under consideration in the British parliament.
If adopted, asylum seekers will be returned to “safe countries” through which they passed. Several human rights associations are outraged by this bill.