'Enough is enough': Sunak vows to end 'immoral' small boats crossing Channel as home secretary prepares new laws

4 March 2023, 22:55 | Updated: 5 March 2023, 08:33

Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman promise to get tough on boat crossings
Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman promise to get tough on boat crossings. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Adam Solomons

Rishi Sunak has pledged to halt Channel boat crossings under new laws aimed at working around the European Convention on Human Rights.

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The prime minister said he will put a 'brake' on record small boat arrivals using the Illegal Migration Bill to be unveiled on Tuesday.

Mr Sunak told the Mail On Sunday: "I am determined to deliver on my promise to stop the boats. 

"So make no mistake, if you come here illegally, you will not to be able to stay."

The new Bill features a so-called 'rights brake' to prevent human rights protections considered spurious, the newspaper reported.

Read more: Dismay at plan to fast-track 12,000 asylum applications - with 95% 'likely to be granted'

Read more: More than 45,000 migrants crossed Channel to UK in 2022 hitting record high

Suella Braverman will unveil the Illegal Migration Bill on Tuesday
Suella Braverman will unveil the Illegal Migration Bill on Tuesday. Picture: Alamy

Home Secretary Suella Braverman will formally propose the new legislation in the Commons on Tuesday.

She told the Sun On Sunday: "Enough is enough. The British people want this solved.

“They are sick of tough talk and inadequate action. We must stop the boats."

Home Office figures show 2,950 migrants have crossed the Channel already this year, compared with a record 45,000 during the whole of 2022.

Migrants are pictured being escorted into the port of Dover
Migrants are pictured being escorted into the port of Dover. Picture: Alamy

Under the new laws, asylum claims made by those who arrive in the UK on small boats will be inadmissable.

The home secretary will also be expected to send small boat arrivals to Rwanda or a "safe third country" as soon as "reasonably practicable".

Arrivals will also be prevented from claiming asylum while in the UK.

The laws will also seek to ban Channel arrivals from returning once removed.

Migrants wait to be processed at a detention centre
Migrants wait to be processed at a detention centre. Picture: Alamy

Red Cross strategy director Christina Marriott told the PA news agency that the proposals are “extremely concerning”.

She said: “The Home Office knows from its own research that this will also do little to prevent people risking their lives to seek safety.

“Again and again, we hear from people that they have no prior knowledge of the UK’s asylum system, so making it harsher is not an effective strategy."

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