Illegal Seaborne Migration - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:51 pm on 5th June 2019.

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Photo of Lord Boateng Lord Boateng Labour 4:51 pm, 5th June 2019

My Lords, I happen to know this part of the Kent coast very well and, as a former Excise Minister, have some knowledge of two of the cutters recently deployed in the Channel. I have two questions for the Minister. First, the people of Folkestone and the surrounding towns and villages are well known for their hospitality to refugees. The churches have played a particularly important part in recent times. However, the reality in this part of Kent is that social services and the health service are extremely stretched. What additional assistance is being given to social services and the health service in order for them to cope with the impact of people rescued from the seas in this way? They have real needs, and the social services and the health service are stretched.

Secondly, the tasks we ask of the men and women who do such excellent service on the cutters are difficult and dangerous. What additional help is being given in relation to their welfare and training to enable them to do this?