The British people have had enough of migrants pouring over the Channel. That’s why stopping the boats is my top priority
THE British people have had enough. I have had enough. tens of thousands of illegal migrants pouring across the Channel every year, and in ever greater numbers. We cannot sustain it. Moreover, it makes us less safe. We all know that strong border security underpins our national security.
It is not racist to say we have too many illegal migrants abusing our asylum system. Nor is it bigoted to say that the financial and social costs of uncontrolled migration are unsustainable. these are hard truths. Hard truths that Keir starmer, his Labour Party and the wider establishment dismiss as nationalist intolerance.
That’s why stopping the boats is my top priority. It’s why the Prime Minister made stopping the boats one of his five pledges to the British people. It’s why yesterday we introduced the Illegal Migration Bill – to solve this problem once and for all.
The united Kingdom must always support the world’s most vulnerable. and this Government has gone further than any previous one to do so. We’ve given sanctuary to 150,000 Hong Kongers, provided refuge to 160,000 ukrainians fleeing Putin’s illegal war, and provided a home for more than 20,000 afghans escaping the taliban.
The small boats problem is part of a larger global migration crisis. In the coming years, countries similar to ours will face unprecedented pressures from ever greater numbers of people leaving the developing world, trying to come to places like the uK. unless we act today, the problem will be even worse tomorrow.
The volume of people illegally entering this country has overwhelmed our system. the asylum backlog has ballooned to over 160,000 people. It is costing taxpayers £3billion a year and rising.
SOME 85,000 people have arrived illegally by small boat since 2018, 45,000 of them last year alone. Many came from safe countries, like albania. all travelled through safe countries where they could and should have claimed asylum.
The vast majority – 74 per cent in 2021 – were adult males under the age of 40, rich enough to pay criminal gangs thousands to break into the uK. upon arrival, some simply disappear – we don’t know where they go or what they do.
But most are accommodated in hotels, costing the taxpayer around £6million a day. and when we try to remove them, they weaponise our generous asylum laws against us. the completely unacceptable scenes starting to play out on our streets grimly foreshadow the sorts of community tensions we will see if we don’t get a grip.
In the face of today’s global migration crisis, yesterday’s laws are simply not fit for purpose. there are 100 million people displaced around the world, and likely billions more eager to come here if possible.
They are already coming here in their tens of thousands. and they will not stop until we’ve made it crystal clear: arrive illegally and you will be liable for detention and swiftly removed – to your home country or to a safe third country like rwanda.
That is precisely what the Illegal Migration Bill will do. that is how we will stop the boats. among a range of tough measures the Bill will, for the first time, give a much-needed legal duty for me to arrange the removal of illegal migrants. It will give us the power to detain illegal arrivals without bail or judicial review within the first 28 days of detention, until they are removed.
It will end the abuse of our modern slavery regime, stopping illegal arrivals from using these laws to avoid their removal.
Only those medically unfit to fly, unaccompanied children and those at real risk of serious and irreversible harm in the safe third country may have their removal delayed. any other human rights claims or challenges will be accessible only after they’ve been removed.
Our ability to control our borders cannot be a hostage to secretive hearings in foreign courts where we have no opportunity to make our case or even appeal those decisions. that’s why we’ve initiated discussions with the strasbourg court, to ensure the sorts of blocking orders that prevented our flights to rwanda last year are reformed. and it’s why the Bill will set out the conditions for the UK’s future compliance with any similar orders.
The Bill will also introduce an annual quota, to be determined by Parliament, on the number of refugees the UK will accept through safe and legal routes. this will allow us to plan with local authorities for an orderly system that takes into consideration local capacity.
THE British people are fair and generous. But their patience has run out. time after time, they’ve been promised a fix for this problem. But the establishment forces allied against these solutions have been powerful. Meanwhile, Labour has opposed every measure to halt illegal migration, and doesn’t even see it as one of its top priorities to solve. this is a betrayal of hard-working British people.
until now, the most difficult decisions have not been taken. But the time for half measures is over. We must stop the boats. Our Illegal Migration Bill will do exactly that.
Unless we act today, the problem will be even worse tomorrow