British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledges to stop cross-Channel migrants

LONDON: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Tuesday pledged to deport illegal migrants within weeks as part of a controversial new plan to stop people illegally crossing the English Channel in small boats.
Sunak was speaking after his Conservative government unveiled its proposals, which he said extended international law amid an outcry from rights campaigners.
More than 45,000 migrants arrived on the coasts of southeast England on small boats last year – a 60% annual increase on a perilous route that has grown in popularity every year since 2018.
Under the bill, which will be retroactive to Tuesday, anyone arriving in the UK illegally will not be able to claim asylum, Sunak told a news conference.
“If you come here illegally, you cannot claim asylum. You cannot benefit from our modern slavery protections. You cannot make false human rights claims and you cannot stay” , did he declare.
“We will detain those who come here illegally and then deport them in weeks, either to their own country if it is safe. Or to a safe third country like Rwanda and once you are deported you will be banned as you are. are in America and Australia to ever return to our country.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Sunak pledged to The Sun newspaper to ‘take back control of our borders once and for all’, echoing a grassroots pledge from campaigners like him who have backed Britain’s divorce from the Union European (EU).
Under the bill, the Minister of the Interior Suella Braverman will be given a new legal obligation to deport all migrants entering illegally, for example across the Channel, overriding their other rights under UK and EU human rights law.
“The current situation is neither moral nor sustainable. It cannot continue,” Sunak added.
“And it’s hugely unfair to those who need our help the most but can’t get it because our asylum system is overwhelmed by those crossing the English Channel illegally,” he said.
Right-winger Braverman told parliament she was ‘convinced that this bill is compatible with international obligations’ – although he admitted in a Daily Telegraph report overnight that he was ‘repelling the limits of international law”.
Rights groups and opposition parties say the plan is unworkable and unfairly scapegoats vulnerable refugees.
Christina Marriott, executive director of strategy for the British Red Cross, said the UK would violate international conventions on asylum.
“We wonder if you are fleeing persecution or war, if you are fleeing Afghanistan or Syria and fearing for your life, how are you going to be able to claim asylum in the UK? she told Sky News.
Steve Valdez-Symonds of Amnesty International said it was “chilling to see ministers trying to strip human rights protections for groups of people they have chosen as scapegoats for their own failures”.
“People fleeing persecution and conflict will be irreparably harmed by these proposals,” he said in a statement.
UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said the plans would amount to a ban on asylum and advocated “more humane” solutions instead.
Nearly 3,000 people have arrived by boat so far this year, often ending up in expensive hotels at taxpayer expense and the backlog of asylum claims now exceeds 160,000.
The new plan would temporarily transfer illegal migrants to disused military barracks and cap the annual number of refugees settled through safe and legal channels.
The government, which is trailing in the opinion polls, has been trying for years to get the issue under control.
He had hoped the threat of a one-way ticket to Rwanda, where migrants would stay if accepted for asylum, would discourage cross-Channel travel.
But that plan, announced by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson last year, was blocked at the last minute by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which is separate from the EU.
It was later upheld by the UK High Court, but remains mired in appeals. No flights to Rwanda have yet taken place.
According to reports on Tuesday, the government could withdraw from the ECHR if the Strasbourg-based tribunal intervenes again in its latest legislation, following what Braverman called its “opaque” ruling on Rwanda.
Sunak added that illegal migration was a “shared challenge” with European allies and that countries on the continent were considering new laws and measures to deal with it.
He said a recent agreement with the French has resulted in increased beach patrols and “meaningful and better cooperation and collaboration between our teams”.

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