Sorting by


Suella Braverman and Robert Jenrick refuse to say if ‘stop the boats’ means reducing the number to zero

Both the Home Secretary and Immigration Minister have refused to save whether the Government’s pledge to “stop the boats” means reducing the numbers to zero.

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick was asked twice on Sunday morning whether “stop the boats” meant halting all crossings, but refused to confirm whether this was the case.

“It’s a very clear pledge and deliberately so. The public wants us to stop the boats and that’s what we’re setting out to do,” he told Times Radio.

Pushed on whether this meant cutting numbers to zero before the next election, he continued: “We have been very clear that our objective is to stop the boats.”

“We don’t think it’s right that people are getting into boats and crossing the Channel, essentially breaking into the country illegally. No country should accept that and nor do we.”

He added that the Government had made “good progress” in tackling Channel crossings and that numbers were “significantly down”, but warned these could rise as “we have moved now into the peak season for crossings”.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman vowed that the backlog of asylum claims would be cleared by the end of the year.

But, she stopped short of pledging that the Government would be able to halt all small boat crossings before the next election.

“I want to stop the boats – it’s our promise and I know it’s absolutely critical,” she said. “I know it’s what the British people really want us to do. They’re on our side.”

Last year, 45,755 migrants crossed the Channel, the highest number since figures were first collected in 2018.

June this year saw the highest number of arrivals on record, with more than 2,000 migrants crossing the Channel.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Ms Braverman conceded that it was “going to be a tough summer” with numbers expected to jump next week due to good weather.

“I look closely at what the incoming flows are like, and we still have too many people coming across the Channel. We still need to honour our pledge to the British people to stop the boats,” she said.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made stopping boats crossing the Channel one of the five key pledges he aims to achieve this year.

However, the Government has faced controversy for some of its plans to deter illegal migration, including deporting arrivals to Rwanda and housing migrants on barges.

The first migrants to be housed on one of the barges – the Bibby Stockholm – are expected to arrive within the coming weeks, and Mr Jenrick insisted on Sunday the Government is still exploring further options.

Ministers had explored housing migrants on former cruise ships but faced opposition to plans to moor the ships in some areas.

Mr Jenrick told GB News: “The first barge will be operational within the coming days and that’s an important step forward. I hope that will be seen as a successful way of housing people in decent accommodation.

“We’re in conversation with a number of other ports and hoping that we can secure those very soon.

“It’s true that a couple of ports did back out, mostly because local Labour councils like in Birkenhead and in Leith in Edinburgh refused to support us, hypocritically actually if you look at the Leith example.

“That’s a Labour council that housed Ukrainian refugees on the same barge, same boat, but refused to house asylum seekers, all the time saying that they are a city of sanctuary.”

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button