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Rishi Sunak will hope trying to stop Channel crossings will show voters Tories are tough on immigration | Politics News


It was in December 2018 after a “major incident” off the coast of Kent that then home secretary Sajid Javid cut the family vacation short, headed to Dover and pledged to make the crossing the Channel is “impossible”.

Since then, tough words, “joint action plans” with France and the new law have done little to prevent the crossings.

In 2018, less than 300 people crossed the Channel. Last year the number was more than 45,000. Will Rishi Sunak succeed in the small boats where his predecessors failed?

Minister defends Sunak’s ‘robust’ asylum plan – live political updates

The long wait Illegal Immigration Billwill be published tomorrow, sending a clear message: legislation will stop people crossing the English Channel in small boats from applying for asylum and ban them from returning to the UK for life.

A government source said the focus was on “getting rid of people quickly” and that the bill would “address human rights challenges”.

Current Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s team believes that, unlike its predecessor’s Nationality and Borders Bill, this legislation will reduce the number of crossings.

More information on migrant crossings

The source said: “This time, the government is more aware of the political necessity and has pushed things within the legal boundaries.”

Even so, enormous practical hurdles will need to be overcome first.

Read more: PM and home sec vow to stop small boat crossings

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‘People smuggling is just another business’

There are plans to scale up capacity in Rwanda (currently only a few hundred people) and we understand that the Home Office is in discussions with other third countries about overseas processing, but the deportation of thousands who will face many logistical and legal problems.

Human rights lawyers have called the plans “unfeasible” and “unethical”.

The Home Office is expecting legal challenges but a government source said: “There are some moving parts and we have to get it through parliament.”

Even if the legislation does work, it will take time to get it through parliament and the government could face a battle in the House of Commons and with the left to prevent the bill from being reduced.

Read more:
Exclusive – Channel to bring smugglers to settle in the UK
‘Just Another Job’ – Sky’s Complete Q&A with Smugglers

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Number of small boats ‘stunned’

Although there are resettlement plans specific to countries like Ukraine, Afghanistan and Hong Kong, campaigners say there are few safe routes for people fleeing persecution from countries other.

An estimated nine people from Iran were resettled via a safe route between January and September last year, 3,500 arriving in small boats.

I understand that the home secretary will also make clear tomorrow her intention to promptly open up safe routes.

The Illegal Immigration Bill doesn’t appear to be the magic bullet that stops small boats outright, but it is part of a broader plan, the key of which will be a partnership with France.

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Latest small boat ban ‘won’t work’, Labor warns

The prime minister hopes a deal on Northern Ireland will reset ties with Europe and it is no coincidence that the bill is introduced days before Mr Sunak and Ms Braverman travel to Paris to meet President Macron.

Overseas ties will help with one of the Prime Minister’s biggest challenges at home, with polls showing small boat crossings remaining one of the top concerns. of voters.

A recent YouGov poll found that two-thirds (68%) of Britons think the UK should refuse to accept asylum applications from people who have entered the UK illegally and can claim asylum. in another reasonably safe country.

The government hopes the small boat issue will become the dividing line with Labor ahead of the general election. When Mr. Sunak made minimizing Channel crossings among his top five priorities, Sir Keir Starmer did not.

A complete containment of the boats may be unlikely, but images of deportation flights packed with people preparing for an election will send a message and may be enough to convince the public that the Bao The party is a hardline party on immigration.

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