LONDON: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Sunday announced a clamp down on illegal migration with a new proposed law to tackle the issue of migrants crossing over into the UK illegally and dangerously in small boats from across the English Channel.
The British Indian leader had made cracking down on this illegal route between the UK’s sea border with neighbouring France among his top priorities for the year.
Along with his Indian-origin Home Secretary Suella Braverman, the Sunak-led government is now planning to table the legislation in Parliament next week to address the issue.
“Make no mistake, if you come here illegally, you will not be able to stay,” Sunak told the ‘Sunday Express’ newspaper.
“I have made the issue of illegal migration one of my top five priorities – pledging to stop the boats once and for all. Illegal migration is not fair on British taxpayers, it is not fair on those who come here legally and it is not right that criminal gangs should be allowed to continue their immoral trade. I’m determined to deliver on my promise to stop the boats,” he said.
According to the newspaper, Sunak believes he has found the answer to a problem which has dogged the government for the past four years after weeks of work carried out in relative secrecy by senior aides in the UK Home Office and at No. 10 Downing Street.
The group has now drawn up new laws to slam a “brake” on any abuse of human rights laws that allows illegal migrants to escape deportation from the UK.
It is hoped the new law will stop activist lawyers using the right to family life and legislation created to combat modern slavery to stop their clients being deported.
Braverman wrote in the ‘Sun on Sunday’ to say “enough is enough” and that the British people want the issue solved.
“They’re sick of tough talk and inadequate action. We must stop the boats. That’s why myself and the Prime Minister have been working flat out to bring forward necessary and effective laws which will tackle this problem, once and for all,” she writes.
She adds: “It has to be that if you come here illegally you will be detained and swiftly removed. Our laws will be simple in their intention and practice – the only route to the UK will be a safe and legal route.
“So far, [Opposition] Labour has opposed every effort to bring a stop to illegal migration. They are not serious about tackling the issue that is only becoming ever more serious and allows criminal gangs to exploit vulnerable people. The Prime Minister and I will do whatever it takes. You can judge us by our actions.” The law is expected to give powers to the Home Secretary to remove anyone who arrives on a small boat “as soon as reasonably practicable” to Rwanda, with which the UK clinched a bilateral agreement, or a “safe third country”.
Sunak and Braverman are also expected to travel to Paris towards the end of next week for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron to explore an enhanced agreement over the issue of small boats crossing over from Calais in France to Dover in England.
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