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 West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Labour 4:51 pm, 5th June 2019

My Lords, I feel sympathy for the Minister because it is quite clear that our system is not working. We declared an emergency about this situation last year and it has not got any better; if anything, it has actually got worse. Clearly, we have to work closely with the French, but we should have enough ships and assets ourselves to ensure that we can tighten up the Channel—I would call it the English Channel rather than the short straits; I do not recognise the term used in the Question. It is clear that we need to stop these boats when they set off from the French coast. We are allowed to operate our ships, drones and other things there. We can do that and stop them before they get across. Clearly, they think that they can get away with it, otherwise they would not keep coming. They keep coming and putting themselves at risk because the system is not working.