Earlier today (13 December) the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, made a statement to the House of Commons on illegal migration, where he outlined his five-point plan to address this global challenge.
Over 40,000 people have illegally crossed the Channel in small boats this year, putting pressure on local public services. Many originate from safe countries and travel through safe countries, which is why the Prime Minister has prioritised this issue since he took office. So far, he has delivered the largest ever small boats deal with France which increases UK-funded patrols by 40 per cent, re-established the Calais Group of Northern European nations to disrupt traffickers, and set a long-term ambition for a UK-EU wide agreement on migration.
However, the measures announced today go even further and include:
1) A new agreement with Albania so that the vast majority of Albanian claimants can be removed, with weekly flights
2) A new, permanent, unified Small Boats Operational Command in the channel with 700 new staff
3) Tougher immigration enforcement with 200 new staff and better data sharing with banks
4) Cheaper accommodation sites so we can move migrants out of expensive hotels
5) Clear the initial asylum backlog by 2023 by doubling the number of caseworkers and radically streamlining the process
Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, welcomed the measures outlined by the Prime Minister today. He commented: “I strongly support the five new measures announced today, in addition to the commitment of new legislation next year that will make it clear if someone enters the UK illegally they would not be able to remain – but will instead be swiftly detained and removed. This is a tough, but fair, approach”.