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Zero migrant boats detected crossing English Channel in the last week

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard the Ramsgate Lifeboat following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Thursday October 27, 2022. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
No small migrant boats have been detected since the end of October. (Getty)

No migrant boats have been detected crossing the English Channel in the last seven days, official data shows.

Government statistics revealed no small vessels had been recorded making the journey from France to the UK since 31 October, when a single boat with 46 migrants on board was intercepted.

It comes during a period of bad weather, which has had a significant impact on numbers making the dangerous crossing.

In total, 39,913 people have crossed the Channel into the UK so far this year.

In October alone 6,912 people made the journey, with 1,065 arriving in a single day.

Read more: Inquiry to probe whether UK asylum policy violates international law

Cumulative successful arrivals in the UK by people crossing the English Channel in small boats. (PA)
Cumulative successful arrivals in the UK by people crossing the English Channel in small boats. (PA)
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness beach by the Dungeness lifeboat following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Wednesday October 12, 2022. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
A group of migrants are brought in to Dungeness beach. (PA)

On Monday, Rishi Sunak vowed to “grip this challenge of illegal migration” by working with European nations.

The prime minister met Emmanuel Macron for the first time as UK leader at the Cop27 climate conference in Egypt amid reports he was pressing for a new agreement with the French president.

Sunak told reporters: “By working together with our European partners, we can make a difference, grip this challenge of illegal migration and stop people coming illegally …

“I’m actually leaving this with renewed confidence and optimism that working together with our European partners, we can make a difference, grip this challenge of illegal migration and stop people coming illegally.”

The government has said the fresh agreement between the UK and France, understood to be worth about £80 million, is in its final stages.

Watch: Migrant dragged away after trying to speak to reporters at Manston in Kent

Under the proposed deal, British immigration officers could be stationed in French control rooms for the first time.

Border Force officers could be allowed to observe French operations co-ordinating beach searches for boats being launched into the Channel and searches for people trafficking gangs.

It comes as home secretary Suella Braverman pledged to speed up the asylum system with a nationwide roll-out of a trial tested in Leeds to help streamline the application process.

The eight-week pilot doubled the average number of claims processed and reduced the time asylum seekers wait for a first interview by 40%, the Home Office said.

Braverman is under pressure for her handling of severe overcrowding at the Manston migrant processing centre, as well as questions about her own efforts to procure hotel accommodation for those seeking asylum in the UK.

Read more: Number of Albanians arriving in UK by small boat increases by at least 1,300% in a year

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Home Secretary Suella Braverman arrives at 10 Downing Street ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting on November 08, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Home secretary Suella Braverman is under pressure for her handling of severe overcrowding at the Manston migrant processing centre. (Getty)

Business Secretary Grant Shapps described how the site in Kent was “tipping into becoming an unofficial detention centre” when he briefly held the post of home secretary.

He said he received “very clear” advice that the government was “in danger” of breaking the law over Manston if action was not taken.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick later told the Commons there had been a “significant reduction” in the number of people at the facility, which was back below its maximum capacity of 1,600 after more than 2,300 migrants were moved to other accommodation.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people staged a protest outside the migrant holding centre on Sunday, demanding the site be shut down.