Channel Crossings

Home Department – in the House of Commons on 22nd November 2021.

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Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

What progress her Department has made on tackling illegal migrant channel crossings.

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

The UK Government are addressing the challenge of illegal migration for the first time in decades through comprehensive reform to break the entire business model of people smuggling. For the first time, whether someone enters the UK legally or illegally will have an impact on how their asylum claim is processed and on their status in the UK if that claim is successful.

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

At the referendum, us Brexiteers told the people that we would take back control. It is clear that, in this aspect, we have lost control. If we tell the most desperate economic migrants in the world, “We will provide a free border taxi service across the channel, we will never deport you and we will put you up in a hotel for as long as you like”, is it any wonder that more and more come? This is now a national emergency. Will the Home Secretary introduce an emergency powers Act to override the Human Rights Act, if necessary, and put people in secure accommodation now? Otherwise, we will not solve the problem.

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

My right hon. Friend will be well versed in the work that we are doing through the Nationality and Borders Bill, which speaks to the points that he has been making about asylum, processing, deportation and fast-track removals, and which, importantly, will ensure that we break the business model of traffickers who are smuggling people into the United Kingdom. I have always said—

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

My apologies, Mr Speaker.

As I was saying, the new plan for immigration and the Nationality and Borders Bill are pivotal to the comprehensive reform of the entire system. There is no single solution, which is why the Bill is so important. I know that all hon. Members on the Government Benches will back the Bill, in stark contrast with those on the Opposition Benches.