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UK Government prepares to unveil new powers to ‘stop the boats’

05 Mar 2023 4 minute read
Home Secretary Suella Braverman. Photo Stefan Rousseau PA Images

The Prime Minister has vowed to put an end to the “immoral” illegal migration trade as the UK Government prepares to unveil new powers to crack down on small-boat crossings in the Channel.

The legislation, promised as part of UK Government efforts to tackle illegal migration, could come as soon as Tuesday, as Home Secretary Suella Braverman said that the only way into the UK would be a “safe and legal route”.

The legislation is expected to make asylum claims inadmissible from those who travel to the UK on small boats.

It would see a duty placed on the Home Secretary to remove “as soon as reasonably practicable” anyone who arrives on a small boat to Rwanda or a “safe third country”.

Arrivals will also be prevented from claiming asylum while in the UK, with plans also to ban them from returning once removed.

Rishi Sunak said the new powers are a step towards fulfilling his pledge to “stop the boats once and for all”.

He told The Mail On Sunday: “Illegal migration is not fair on British taxpayers, it is not fair on those who come here legally and it is not right that criminal gangs should be allowed to continue their immoral trade.

“I am determined to deliver on my promise to stop the boats. So make no mistake, if you come here illegally, you will not to be able to stay.”

“Stopping the boats”

The bill will be published on Tuesday, according to The Sun On Sunday.

Ms Braverman told the paper: “Enough is enough. The British people want this solved.

“They are sick of tough talk and inadequate action. We must stop the boats.

“That’s why myself and the Prime Minister have been working flat out to bring forward necessary and effective laws which will tackle this problem, once and for all.

“It has to be that if you come here illegally you will be detained and swiftly removed.

“Our laws will be simple in their intention and practice – the only route to the UK will be a safe and legal route.”

The Prime Minister has made “stopping the boats” one of his five priorities, while Ms Braverman has repeatedly promised to take a hard line on illegal migration and Channel crossings.

But the Government’s plans have also been criticised by campaigners, with concerns too about whether some of the policies are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Rwanda scheme too has been mired in legal challenges, and so far no flights carrying migrants to the Rwandan capital Kigali have departed.

The latest Home Office figures show 2,950 migrants have crossed the Channel already this year.

Mr Sunak has been under considerable pressure from his own backbenches to tackle illegal migration.

Downing Street has said that the legislation will come in due course.

Critics expressed concern at the plans.

“Vindictive and dysfunctional”

Christina Marriott, executive director of strategy at the Red Cross, called it “extremely concerning”.

“The Home Office knows from its own research that this will also do little to prevent people risking their lives to seek safety.

“Again and again, we hear from people that they have no prior knowledge of the UK’s asylum system, so making it harsher is not an effective strategy,” she said.

Sonya Sceats, chief executive at Freedom From Torture, called the proposals “vindictive and dysfunctional”.

“This legislation will do nothing to reduce the number of deaths in the Channel or the chaos and incompetence that blights our asylum system, nor will it guarantee sanctuary for those who need it.

“Instead, it will lead to more torture survivors being unfairly denied protection and potentially removed to Rwanda.”

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago

“Stop the boats” cry who exactly !

Attack the refugees, scare people to death as a way of control from Handcock to Braverman. Eat Out on Rishi, who knew it was killing people but Handcock kept it secret…

The entire fabric of the UK is falling apart and Sunak wants us to sit round his rope trick and applaud. Does he think so little of the people of these islands to think that we share his contempt for our fellow human beings…

This band of thieves and cutthroats need to face trial…

Last edited 1 year ago by Mab Meirion
Richard Jenkins
Richard Jenkins
1 year ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Clear evidence of the inherent sociopathy inherent in the ugly souls of the Tory party!

1 year ago

The whole situation with refugees and migrants coming on boats across the English Channel has come about under Brexit and under this Tory gov. They have no answers but to grandstand with their voters and press , while their politicians take a leaf out of the racist far-right’s playbook by dehumanising these people by just talking about stopping the ‘boats’ (never the women, men and children) and sympathising with the demonstrators outside the hotels where these migrants are staying organised in most part by far-right Nazis and neo-Nazis.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 year ago
Reply to  Llyn

I see that they have been “have been working flat out” on this policy which, when decoded, presumably means that it was sketched out on a post it note over drinks in the Parliamentary bar. The fact that there are no ‘safe and legal’ routes into the country is surely the largest reason why the ganagsters are onto such a lucrative trade. If they were to set up an immigration vetting station in Calais that would effectively kill the gangsters’ business model.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
1 year ago

So this legislation will so scare migrants that they won’t approach the people smugglers and stop trying to get here all together ? – Yeah right. Touch England and we’ll ship you all to Rwanda, babies, children OAPs – the lot of you, regardless of how hungry, poor and desperate you are. What do these Tories see when they look in the mirror everyday? Where is their morality? How right she was when May said the Tories are the ‘Nasty’ party.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 year ago

‘…….to remove “as soon as reasonably practicable” anyone who arrives on a small boat to Rwanda or a “safe third country”.’

For shame! Criminalizing desperate, needy people who have probably been through unimaginable traumas already. For shame!

Shame on Suella Braverman, shame on Rishi Sunak and shame on the Conservative Party – and their supporters! Shame!!

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