Migrants land on Dungeness Beach after crossing English Channel
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Tory MP Matt Vickers was speaking the day after Border Force officials stopped a total of eight boats loaded with 284 people on their way to the UK. Simultaneously it was revealed French authorities had prevented just one vessel, containing 20 people, from crossing the Channel.
It is obvious that France simply isn’t doing enough to prevent these crossings
Mr Vickers, who triumphed in Stockton South in the 2019 general election, was deeply unimpressed.
He told Express.co.uk: “It is obvious that France simply isn’t doing enough to prevent these crossings.
“Whether it is due to a lack of will or lack of capability, this situation must not be allowed to carry on.
“It is unfair on genuine asylum seekers who are struggling to have their claims processed and unfair on the British taxpayer.”
Mr Vickers said: “Last I checked France was not ravaged by war. Those crossing the Channel are perfectly safe on the mainland.
“We cannot permit this Goldilocks approach that many migrants have adopted; picking and choosing which country they consider to be ‘just right’.”
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To find the solution, Mr Vickers said Britain should take note of Australia’s approach to the large number of boats attempting to cross the seas from Indonesia.
He explained: “At the height of the Australian migrant crisis, people were entering the country illegally at a rate of 50,000 per year and over 1,000 migrants ended up dying at sea.
“If nothing is done about the ongoing situation in the Channel, the UK is staring down the barrel of a potential humanitarian disaster.
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“If France continues to refuse to play ball, Britain must take a strong and leading role in bringing an end to this crisis.”
Britain needed to follow “an Australian-style model” to deal with “these dangerous Channel crossings”, Mr Vickers claimed.
He said: “An offshore processing solution – much like the one set up in Nauru by John Howard – is an absolute must to ebb the flow of those who arrive on British shores and we subsequently struggle to process.
As a result of the measure implemented by Australia, the country experienced no attempted crossings from Indonesia for three years after January 2013, and only a handful since.
Mr Vickers added: “However, most importantly, we have to start towing these skiffs back to France to send a clear message to people smugglers and would-be illegal migrants that this route into the UK is no longer viable.
“I would urge the Government to ignore the inevitable howls of phoney outrage from the left.
“These policies have been proven to work, are fairer to genuine asylum seekers and could prevent a future humanitarian disaster right on our doorstep.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel met with members of the Greek government today to discuss “shared challenges on illegal migration” during a two-day fact-finding visit.
Ms Patel said: “We have seen a surge in illegal migration across Europe, and we must continue to work closely with Greek partners to tackle this challenge that both our countries face.
“Only by working together can we break up these crime gangs that extend throughout Europe and beyond, and stop the horrific trade in people across the continent.”
Ms Patel has pledged a new “fair but firm” new plan for immigration, with the Nationality and Borders Bill now being considered by Parliament.
Dubbed the anti-refugee Bill by campaigners critical of the plans, it intends to make it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK without permission, with tougher sentences for those found doing so and for people smugglers.
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