Illegal Migration: English Channel

Part of Home Department – in the House of Commons on 9th November 2020.

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Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

My hon. Friend is right to point out that this trade is facilitated by dangerous and ruthless criminals. On activity with the French, we are working with them to prevent embarkations and we are funding gendarmes who patrol the beaches. In fact, the French authorities have successfully stopped nearly 5,000 crossings this year so far. We are in the process of actively investigating action at sea because, as my hon. Friend says, if it is obvious that nobody can make it across, they will stop attempting such dangerous crossings in the first place.

We are also working to return under the Dublin regulations people who do get across—in fact, this week there are three flights, some of which will contain cross-channel migrants being returned under the Dublin regulations. By a combination of law enforcement on French beaches, potential action at sea and returns, we can remove the reason for even trying such crossings in the first place.