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Record High Migrant Crossings to UK Heighten Pressure on Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak

More than 4,600 asylum seekers have entered Britain via small boats in the first three months of 2024, marking a record high and posing a significant political challenge for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

According to provisional data from the Home Office, 4,644 individuals were detected arriving across the Channel on small boats like inflatable dinghies by March 26, surpassing the figures from the same period in previous years.

This total exceeds the 3,770 arrivals recorded for the corresponding period last year and the 4,162 arrivals in 2022, which was the previous record high.

Sunak’s flagship scheme to deport unauthorized arrivals to Rwanda is seen as a deterrent to those attempting the perilous cross-Channel journey.

Legislation aimed at implementing this plan, despite facing legal setbacks, is scheduled to return to parliament for discussion next month.

A Home Office spokesperson emphasized the urgency of launching flights to Rwanda, citing the persistently high number of Channel crossings as evidence of the necessity for immediate action.

While overall annual numbers decreased by 36% last year compared to the record total in 2022, Sunak had previously touted this as progress in “stopping the boats,” a key priority for his government ahead of an anticipated election later this year.

However, the recent surge in arrivals only amplifies the pressure on Sunak, particularly as the Conservative Party trails behind the opposition Labour Party in opinion polls, with immigration emerging as a major concern among certain voters.

Stephen Kinnock, Labour’s immigration spokesperson, criticized Sunak’s assertions, highlighting the continued influx of small boat arrivals despite government claims of success in curbing migration.

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I am a dynamic professional, specializing in Peace and Conflict Studies, Conflict Management and Resolution, and International Relations. My expertise is particularly focused on South Asian Conflicts and the intricacies of the Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific Politics. With my skills as a Content Writer, I serve as a bridge between academia and the public, translating complex global issues into accessible narratives. My passion for fostering understanding and cooperation on the national and international stage drives me to make meaningful contributions to peace and global discourse.

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