By Associated Press - Friday, November 12, 2021

LONDON (AP) – Around 1,000 people are believed to have crossed the English Channel in small boats on Thursday to reach the U.K. from France, a new record for migrant crossings in a single day that British authorities have labeled as “unacceptable.”

Lifeboat crews and Border Force boats were busy well into the evening after spending hours intercepting boats throughout the day, when weather conditions were relatively calm and mild for the time of year.

The total from Thursday, which is set to be finalized later Friday, will surpass the previous single-day record of 853 set earlier this month, according to British news agency PA.

Britain’s Home Office has yet to confirm precise numbers for the day, but said Thursday’s number was “unacceptable.”

In 2019, Home Secretary Priti Patel promised to make migrant crossings an “infrequent phenomenon” by spring 2020 and then pledged in August last year to “make this route unviable.”

During this time, the British government agreed to pay France millions of pounds to increase security on its northern coast.

Around 23,000 people have reached the U.K. in small boats this year, according to PA, nearly triple the 8,417 the news agency recorded arriving in 2020.

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