Author: FREDDIE JORDAN
THE HOME Secretary Sajid Javid’s suggestion to introduce more Border Force vessels to deal with the major rise in migrants crossing the Channel was shot down on national radio on the grounds that it would “bully” the UK into accepting illegal immigrants.
UK migrant policy could put more lives at risk says LBC host
National radio presenter Matt Stadlen tackled the issue on his LBC radio show. He said: “I think it’s worth spelling out first that the Border Force has just one of its five cutters and two coastal patrol vessels currently policing the channel and picking up migrants. The Home Secretary also commissioned detailed options from Border Force about the provision of additional vessels in the channel and that is including another border force cutter and whether, and this is the key question, whether this is likely to encourage more people to try and make the crossing rather than act as a deterrent.
“If we fill the Channel with boats, so migrants know that they will be rescued and very possibly brought back to this country.
“According to a conversation I just had with the Home Office before coming on air, they would very likely go through an asylum process.
“They might be put up in accommodation.“Only in extreme cases would they be put in a detention centre, it seems.
“Would this somehow encourage people rather than deter them and thereby risk more lives, not to mention bully us as a country into accepting people coming here illegally?”
Mr Javid declared the situation a “major incident” on Friday, appointing a “gold commander” to oversee the situation and give daily updates.
He said on Saturday: “The situation in the Channel is of grave concern, with people gambling their lives in reckless attempts to reach the UK in unsafe boats and treacherous conditions.
“It is vital we strike a balance between protecting them and protecting our borders, ensuring we do not encourage more people to make this dangerous journey.”
Mr Javid said the Home Office had been working closely with the French “for some time” on the issue, and actions had been stepped up over the Christmas period after a rise in activity.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said the armed forces were ready to offer help if needed, telling the Sunday Telegraph: “We have not had any requests as yet but if the Home Office is in need of armed forces support then our Navy, Air Force and Army stand ready to assist.”
Two boats carrying 12 men from Syria and Iran were brought to shore at Dover on Friday. Another 40 migrants were detected on Christmas Day.
Sky News recorded the arrival of another boat arriving on the Kent coast this morning.