Labour: Government ‘failing to get to grips’ with migrant crossings

Mike Graham criticises Serco, the company that houses asylum seekers

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Labour’s shadow home secretary has accused the government of a “lack of competence” in dealing with migrant boat crossings.

Nick Thomas-Symonds said Home Secretary Priti Patel should “urgently” work with her French and international counterparts to solve the issue.

More than 120 migrants have already made the perilous journey to the UK aboard small boats in the first few days of August, while many others were prevented from crossing by French authorities.

According to the PA news agency, more than 1,100 migrants arrived in the UK in July alone, almost as high as the figure for May and June combined.

Migrant welfare charities have long called for safe and legal routes of entry to the UK for those seeking asylum.

The Labour MP said: “The lack of government competence around this issue is deeply concerning.

“It means that people are still risking their lives in the channel and ministers are failing to get to grips with the crisis.”

However, Mr Thomas-Symonds did not specify how Labour would seek to resolve the issue were it to gain power.

The Home Office has recently criticised “inflexible and rigid” asylum regulations that it says are “not fit for purpose”.

It said that when the UK is no longer bound by EU laws at the end of this year, it can negotiate its own returns agreement.

Ms Patel has also attempted to level blame at French authorities, saying she thought there could be “stronger enforcement measures on the French side”.

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