Thu. Sep 28th, 2023


The Real News Network

Rishi Sunak denies migrant boat surge is a blow

3 min read

Rishi Sunak has insisted his plan to stop the boats is delivering “much better” than expected results despite a recent surge in migrant crossings.

The Prime Minister denied it was a mistake to claim the Government’s tough stance was already deterring thousands of asylum seekers from risking their lives crossing the Channel in dangerous dinghies.

He declared the number of crossings so far this year is better than anyone had expected after sharp increases in recent years, hinting the scale of the crisis would have been far worse had the Government not taken action.

But Mr Sunak admitted he “fully expected” crossings to rise over the Summer months.

Internal Home Office predictions warned as many as 80,000 migrants could cross the Channel in small boats this year – up from 45,755 in 2022.

Appearing to manage expectations on what constitutes success in the Government’s battle against people smugglers, Mr Sunak told reporters: “It is worth bearing in mind that the numbers have escalated every year.

“I remember when I came in that people were saying what was going to happen. If you look at the trajectory of the increase year over year over year, the numbers have been going up very sharply.

“The fact that they were down for five months of the year, the fact that they are still down even if it is less, compared to what people were expecting is really a much better result than anyone was expecting.”

The Prime Minister said the Court of Appeal ruling on Rwanda, which ruled against the Government, had supported the principle of sending migrants to safe third countries for their asylum claims to be processed there.

He told reporters: “The Court of Appeal agreed with the High Court that the principle of sending people to Rwanda for asylum, for their claims being inadmissible here and instead being sent to Rwanda, the principle of that they agreed with.

“That is actually a very big, positive step.

“It was slightly lost on the day, that was an important step forward.”

Around 13,000 migrants have crossed the Channel so far this year, marginally down from the total last year.

At one stage this year, the number arriving in the UK was down by a fifth, the first year-on-year fall since the crisis began.

But since his landmark speech in early June, the number of migrants crossing the Channel has skyrocketed, leading to fresh fears tens of thousands of people will arrive in the UK during the “peak” months of July, August and September.

Mr Sunak said: “I fully expected crossings to rise over the Summer. I said that at the time, very clearly. But I do think the plan is working.

“You can see that most obviously through the Albanian deal, which came in and changed how we process illegal migrants from Albania. We’ve returned almost 2,000 illegal migrants from Albania and you’ve seen a dramatic reduction in the number of crossings.

“That shows me that deterrence works.

“When people know that if they come, they won’t be able to stay, they stop coming in the same volume.

“That is what gives me confidence our overall strategy is the right one.”

MPs will today debate a number of amendments to the Illegal Migration Bill.

The Illegal Migration Bill will give the Home Secretary powers to swiftly detain and deport migrants to either their home country or a safe third country.

Politicians will also today vote on revised plans to lock up migrant children, with immigration judges able to release youngsters on bail after eight days.

Under previous proposals, they would have been treated the same as adults.

Ministers believe removing young people from the tough new measures would lead to smugglers exploiting thousands more children, risking their lives in the Channel.

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Source: Read Full Article