Petition demands transparency over daily cross-Channel boat arrivals


February 04, 2022

Migration Watch UK has launched a petition calling on the government to continue releasing data on the number of people arriving without prior permission each day in boats.

With dinghy crossings soaring, our petition was launched following alarming news that the Home Office plans to stop issuing daily arrival figures, instead releasing totals on a much less frequent basis.

Total reported illegal arrivals rose from just under 300 in 2018, when the crisis began in earnest, to over 28,400 in 2021; an astonishing 95-fold increase.

Throughout this time, the government has released figures on how many people crossed per day, and in how many boats, including those picked up in the Channel by Border Force, the Coastguard, the RNLI and others.

For month after month, we have tracked these numbers via our popular and unique Channel Tracking Station.

Arrivals in 2022 so far are six times the total arriving in the first month of 2021. If crossings continue at that rate, by year’s end, many more will arrive than even the reported projection of between 65,000 and 90,000 that the government is allegedly expecting (according to Home Office sources). But, if the government has its way, the public wouldn’t be told what is going on for months.

This would be a huge affront to transparency, accountability and democracy.

The petition was launched as 76% of the public told YouGov that the government is handling immigration badly, including the same share of Conservative voters. Conservative supporters also recently named this as a top issue of concern.

Is this why the government want to hide the figures by issuing them less regularly, no doubt hidden amongst a lot of other statistics?

Commenting Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said:

The government must drop this hare-brained scheme to censor daily arrival data and should instead focus on stopping these illegal crossings. That is, after all, what they promised to do and what the public want. Why can’t they for once keep their word rather than twisting and turning to hide the truth?

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