AN MP has questioned the Home Secretary over the English Channel migrant crossings, branding them “illegal and inhumane”.

An estimated 25,600 migrants have reached the UK by boat across the Channel so far this year.

Last year’s total was 8,417, according to the Home Office.

In Parliament on Monday, Crawley MP Henry Smith called the migrant crossings “horrific”.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Conservative MP said: “English Channel migrant crossings are not only illegal and inhumane, but a security risk to our country.

“The Nationality and Borders Bill will help to prevent the horrific trade in people trafficking. However, it’s clear that there’s no time to waste and this is an issue which requires action now.”

The Argus: Migrants arriving on Hastings beach earlier this month Migrants arriving on Hastings beach earlier this month

Questioning Home Secretary Priti Patel, Mr Smith said: “The Nationality and Borders Bill will indeed be a significant piece of legislation to prevent illegal English Channel migration crossings from taking place and it is shameful that the Labour Party is voting against it.

“But it will be many months before that legislation is on the statute books, so what measures can be taken now, particularly in terms of security screening those who are attempting to enter the United Kingdom?”

The Home Secretary responded: “Let me reassure my honourable friend that screening takes place, as does interviewing and questioning of everyone who enters our country illegally.

“So let me be very clear about that. Any notion that that is not taking place is completely wrong.

“He is right about the Bill. It is passing through the Commons right now, but believe you me Mr Speaker, we will do everything possible to look at how we can accelerate the passing of that legislation if we need to, particularly as the Labour Party has made its opposition to it so publicly known.”

There has been an estimated 17,183 more migrants reaching the UK in 2021 than the previous year, with over a month left of this year.

The Argus: Migrants arriving on Hastings beach earlier this month Migrants arriving on Hastings beach earlier this month

On November 11, a total of 1,185 migrants crossed the Channel, a new record for a single day.

RNLI lifeboats were launched to help rescue dozens of people, believed to be migrants, who arrived on Hastings beach.

Despite the efforts of lifeboat crews, Border Force and French authorities, three people were feared lost at sea after two kayaks were found adrift off the coast of Calais.