Tobias Ellwood: We cannot take Little England approach to migration

Friday, August 7, 2020

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood has urged the government to look beyond the English Channel to tackle illegal migration after a record number of migrants arrived on UK shores yesterday.

A total of 235 people made the crossing by boat on Thursday, a new record for the number of arrivals in a single day. Border Force intercepted 17 vessels, one of which was carrying 26 people.

Speaking with talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, Mr Ellwood said there was “a huge amount of work to be done”.

“There is poor governance in the Middle East and north Africa from which so many then choose to flee those areas and I have to say the West is partly to blame for that because we’ve turned a blind eye to supporting places like Libya.

“There sometimes can be this Little England approach - dare I say we’ve seen it in the United States as well, Donald Trump just saying America first - You can’t do that in today’s complex, modern world because these problems will come and haunt us.”

According to the PA News Agency, more than 1,100 migrants arrived in the UK in July alone - almost as many as in May and June combined.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has faced criticism for her department’s approach to the issue, with her opposition counterpart Nick Thomas-Symonds accusing the government of a “lack of competence”.

There is now speculation that the Royal Navy could be drafted in to patrol the busy shipping lanes if the high number of migrant crossings continues.

Mr Ellwood said this would be a good move, but the chairman of an immigration think tank disagreed.

Alp Mehmet from Migration Watch said: “We will end up with more arriving because they know they will be picked up safely and brought here.”

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