Continued arrival of migrant boats causing 'deep unease' MP says

6 May 2020, 10:55

The MP raised concerns over migrants coming to the UK
The MP raised concerns over migrants coming to the UK. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

An MP has written to Priti Patel over the continued arrival of migrant boats which she says is "causing deep unease and concern to local residents."

Hastings and Rye MP Sally-Ann Hart has written to the Home Secretary expressing concerns over the number of migrants landing on beaches in her constituency.

She wrote Pett Level beach near Hastings has become "the chosen destination" for many trying to cross from France to the UK.

The letter, which was posted by the MP on Twitter, set out a number of questions for Priti Patel.

Ms Hart said: "For several months now it has become clear that the chosen destination for many of these crossings is to land the boats along the coastline at Pett Level, which sits between Hastings and Rye in my constituency.

"This continued arrival of migrant boats is causing deep unease and concern to local residents, especially in the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic."

She asked Ms Patel about what work is being done with European partners, and what checks are being carried out to ensure migrants are not arriving in the UK infected with coronavirus.

She continued: "I appreciate that among some of those taking the perilous crossing over the Channel there are asylum seekers, who should be treated with the care, consideration and support you'd expect."

However, she added that she believes the crossings are "clearly" being used by economic migrants as well and called for a "robust" response.

Since lockdown began, at least 598 migrants have been brought to the UK.

This is more than half of the entire total for 2020, which stands at least 976 as of Tuesday evening.