Migrant crossings: Priti Patel’s ‘incompetence on this situation is harmful’, Labour claims | Politics News

Labour has accused Priti Patel of “comprehensively failing” on the difficulty of migrant crossings within the Channel after a file variety of folks arrived on British shores in small boats final week.

Shadow residence secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds informed Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday that his counterpart’s “incompetence on this issue is dangerous”.

However {Health} Secretary Sajid Javid defended the house secretary’s work on immigration – regardless of the surge within the variety of crossings – telling Sky News the federal government has “a great track record” of offering safety safety to “those people who are genuinely fleeing persecution”.

French police officers patrol the beaches in Wimereux near Calais as migrants continue to launch small boats along the coastline in a bid to cross the Channel towards the UK. Picture date: Thursday November 18, 2021.
Sajid Javid mentioned it’s ‘proper to vary the principles’ to make sure these arriving on UK shores are ‘real asylum seekers’

Mr Javid added: “We do must ask ourselves, if individuals are making an attempt to get into the UK from secure nations like France, are they real asylum seekers or not?

“And it is right to ask that and it is right to change the rules to take that into account, and that is what the home secretary is doing.”

Final Thursday, 1,185 people arrived within the UK – a brand new file for a single day within the present disaster – with a complete of greater than 24,700 folks having reached the island utilizing small boats to cross the Channel to this point this yr, in line with information compiled by the PA news company.

In current weeks, a minimum of two folks have died whereas making an attempt to aim the perilous journey, and a number of other more have been feared to be misplaced at sea.

The federal government has introduced {that a} evaluate will have a look at methods to cease migrants crossing the English Channel and coming into the UK amid concern that present measures are usually not working.

Downing Road has tasked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Stephen Barclay with bringing departments collectively to discover a resolution.

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Greater than 24,700 folks have arrived within the UK to this point this yr after crossing the Channel, virtually 3 times the quantity in 2020.

Mr Thomas-Symonds informed Sky News a Labour authorities would reintroduce offers with different nations to relocate migrants again to the primary secure nation they arrived in.

However talking throughout a go to to Washington for talks together with her US counterpart earlier this week, the residence secretary mentioned the “problem” of unlawful migration is all the way down to the EU’s open borders.

Ms Patel mentioned the Schengen settlement – which permits passport-free journey throughout European borders within the so-called Schengen zone – has left France “overwhelmed” with migrants making an attempt to succeed in the UK throughout the Channel.

The house secretary added that the EU has “no border protections whatsoever” which has led to a “mass migration crisis”.

Talking to MPs on Wednesday, Tom Pursglove, a minister for each the Dwelling Workplace and the Ministry of Justice, disclosed that simply 5 migrants who crossed the Channel by boat to the UK have been returned to Europe to this point this yr.

One former head of the Border Pressure, Tony Smith, informed Sky News the federal government was very reliant on France to cease crossings.

“If the French won’t intervene at sea or take returns, I don’t think there is much room for manoeuvre,” Mr Smith mentioned.

“Returning to other source and transit countries may be an option but we will need readmission agreements.”

One possibility being thought of would contain opening processing centres in third nations the place migrants could be taken whereas their asylum claims are checked out.

The Instances newspaper reported on Thursday that the UK was in talks with Albania over finding services within the nation.

That was angrily rejected by the Albanian ambassador to London, who mentioned such centres would violate worldwide regulation.

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In July, Dwelling Secretary Priti Patel signed a £54m take care of France to deal with crossings however UK sources admit that policing greater than 90 miles of shoreline is tough.

A Dwelling Workplace spokesperson mentioned: “Migrants making these harmful crossings are placing their lives in danger and it is important we do all the pieces we are able to to forestall them and break the enterprise mannequin of the felony gangs exploiting folks.

“People should claim asylum in the first safe country they arrive in, and as part of our response it is important we have a maritime deterrent in the channel and work with international partners to put an end to these dangerous journeys.”

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