Over the past week, we’ve been reporting on the number of illegal migrants that have come into the UK, from France, via the English Channel. This morning on the Andrew Marr show, Home Secretary, Priti Patel, was asked “What are you doing to stop” the influx of migrants attempting to enter Britain illegally across the English Channel.
Priti Patel said: “Well, there’s a lot of work that’s taken place with regards to Illegal migration. And this is illegal migration. This is people coming from northern France, from parts of Calais that have been trafficked into the United Kingdom.”
“We are working with the French authorities on this and particular breaking up the camps, but also working with them in terms of policing the vast beaches in France.
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“There are as there are a lot of Beach area and they’ve been policed by the French Police.”
“But on top of that, we are looking to change our laws. So there are issues around meritless claims that have been coming through, people being trafficked, vulnerable people as well. I should add, children, women that have been threatened to be put on those boats.”
“There’s a great deal of work that has taken place with the French authorities.”
Priti Patel comments about returning illegal migrants saying: “We are also returning people that are coming to our country illegally through this particular route.”
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“I think it’s important to reference the fact that the individuals that are coming, they’re coming from a safe country, where they could seek asylum in France, or even Germany, or even in Belgium.”
“Some individuals have had long Journeys and spurious roots, and it’s important that other countries, other European countries, do much more to stop the flow of people coming through, stop the facilitation, make sure that they have the right kind of Asylum processes and their country as we leave the EU fully”.
Andrew Marr then asks: “Are you completely confident that we’re going to get the full cooperation of those countries, the friendly cooperation that we need to stop this?.”
Priti Patel responded: “Well, I’m not seeing anything to say that we are not, so when I look at our relationship with France and Belgium, in fact, we have regular dialogue, frequent Dialogue, on these particular issues, illegal migration is an issue.”
“That doesn’t just affect the United Kingdom. It affects European countries. Equally in a very severe nature through our ports, the porous borders, but also through the exploitation and trafficking that we see is absolutely. “
With strong words coming from the Home Secretary, do those strong words play out in real action? So far this week alone, just in Dover, we’ve roughly calculated that 280+ illegal migrants have been brought to our shores due to the French Navy handing over illegal migrants to the UK Border Force. These migrants are then brought to Britain, put on coaches and then sent to various hotels around the country.
What we hear and what we see are quite vastly different, but that’s not to say the Home Secretary isn’t doing something behind the scenes. In the meantime, we will be keeping an eye and report what happens in the coming months.