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Sunak announces two new asylum barges and claims plan to ‘stop the boats’ is working

05 Jun 2023 3 minute read
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, image by No 10 Downing Street

Rishi Sunak claimed his plan to tackle small boats crossing the English Channel is working, but there is “work to do”, as he announced two more barges to house asylum seekers.

The Prime Minister said the numbers making the crossing were down by around a fifth since last year and “our plan is starting to work”.

He said the returns deal with Albania had led to 1,800 people being sent back, and was having a deterrent effect.

In a speech in Kent, Mr Sunak also defended measures to house asylum seekers on barges – with the first one set to be moored in Portland, Dorset, within a fortnight, and the announcement of two more to house another 1,000 people.

He said: “Before I launched my plan in December, the number entering the UK illegally in small boats had more than quadrupled in two years. Some said this problem was insoluble, or just a fact of 21st century life.

“They’d lost faith in politicians to put in the hard yards to do something about it. And of course, we still have a long way to go. But in the five months since I launched the plan, crossings are now down 20% compared to last year.

“This is the first time since this problem began that arrivals between January and May have fallen compared to the year before.”

Not complacent

He suggested that the UK was doing better than other European countries, but said that the Government was not “complacent”.

The Prime Minister added: “With grit and determination, the Government can fix this and we are using every tool at our disposal.”

Mr Sunak declined to say where there two new barges would be moored, although there has been widespread speculation one could be based on Merseyside.

He also defended the requirement for asylum seekers to share hotel rooms, following protests outside accommodation in Pimlico, London.

“If you’re coming here illegally, claiming sanctuary from death, torture or persecution, then you should be willing to share a taxpayer-funded hotel room in central London.

“To reduce pressures on local communities, we’ll also house people on ships, the first will arrive in Portland in the next fortnight and we’ve secured another two today that will accommodate another thousand.”

Analysis of provisional Home Office data by the PA news agency suggests that as of June 3 some 7,610 people had been detected crossing the channel, compared with 9,954 at the same point in 2022 – a 23.5% decrease.

But crossings are heavily influenced by the weather and the summer months typically see higher numbers making the journey.

Mr Sunak said the deal with Albania had seen 1,800 people sent back, although some of those were convicted criminals rather than migrants.

Mr Sunak said the UK had gone from accepting about one in five Albanian asylum cases to just one in 50.

“So far this year, the number of Albanian small boat arrivals has fallen by almost 90%,” he said. “This is proof that our deterrence strategy can work.”


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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
10 months ago

He stands behind a lectern bearing the the rabble rousing slogan ‘STOP THE BOATS’ in large and loud capital letters presumably to retain the support of his hard of thinking voters. What the slogan really means, and should say, is ‘ABUSE HUMAN BEINGS’. With that, he would still retain their vote despite them knowing what he plans to do with their, and all of our, basic human rights. The full sentence here should read ‘STOP THE BOATS, START THE BARGES’ where the human lives they plan to impound like illegal cars will suffer terrible conditions for months along with being… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Just so, take your Green Card and shove it…The Modi Operandi of a tyrant…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago

55BC 54BC 43AD 1066 1688 1940 1944…good luck with that Rishi…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Rishi aboard his Border Force flagship (photo in Guardian) looking every inch the landlubber takes yet another helicopter to the seaside…every day is an airshow for the Generalissimo…he really does not look comfortable or the same scale OO / HO…

Last edited 10 months ago by Mab Meirion
John Hammond
John Hammond
10 months ago

The boats will work only when one of them takes Cruella B away, somewhere far far away. Ruanda comes to mind. Will that be far enough?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago
Reply to  John Hammond

The thing about Rishi, and he made this plain in his first address to Parliament, is that he proudly believes that there is a layer in society whose Karma dictates that the live and die on the streets and he is cool with that…take it from there…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago

The Contents of Rishi’s Home Library…

The Bluffers guide for Prime Ministers

The Dummy’s Guide to Premiership

Teach Yourself Exceptionalism

I spy Opportunistic Moments

The Ladybird Book for Swindlers

Mr Crabtree’s Book of Angling For Favours

Adam the Gardener’s Hedgefund Cultivation

How To Enrich Your Friends

The Donor’s guide to Corrupt MPs

The Boy’s Book of Acting Grown Up

The Observer’s Book of Helicopters

Everyman’s Book of Lies, Falsehoods and Untruths

Advanced Plundering for Billionaires

Published by Slash, Burn and Pillage(UK) Unlimited…

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
10 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Available in all good book shops? I’ll take the lot. 😄

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago

D-Day 6th of June 1944, the boats have been landing freedom fighters on the shores of France since dawn…

4,414 allied troops died gaining a foothold in Europe to free a continent from the likes of Britain’s present leaders…

I’m exaggerating, but you can see where they are going, do we want to go there?

Looks like it is D-Day for the Ukrainians too, auspicious moment in time for them…

Last edited 10 months ago by Mab Meirion

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