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Undocumented Migrants: English Channel

Question for Home Office

UIN 49059, tabled on 14 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the proportion of people illegally entering the UK by crossing the English Channel in boats.

Answered on

22 September 2021

The Home Office collates figures of Channel migrant arrivals for management information purposes. Home Office records indicate approximately 80% of arrivals in August were men. It should be noted that data assurance and validation processes for August figures are still in progress, that this data has been taken from live database, and that it is therefore subject to revision.

The New Plan for Immigration Policy Statement contextualises small boats arrivals as a proportion of the wider cohort of irregular migration. In 2019, 11% of all irregular migrants arrived in the UK through crossing the Channel in small boats, compared to 32% by air and 51% by surface routes including clandestine entry in freight vehicles. In 2020, the proportion of irregular migrants who used the Channel crossing method increased to 50%, while those using air routes declined to 14% and those using surface routes fell to 32%.

Answered by

Home Office