Queen's Speech: 'Immigration plans address public concern over illegitimate asylum seekers'

11 May 2021, 18:38

Ex-Border Control officer on Govt's plans to discourage migrants

By Fiona Jones

Ex-Border Force officer Chris Hobbs points out that the Government's new legislation to discourage migrants from crossing the English Channel reflects public opinion - but explains why he is not confident it will work.

Government plans to overhaul the asylum system have been branded “cruel and unfair”, with campaigners arguing that they “slam the door in the face” of people who could be in urgent need of protection.

Immigration reforms announced in the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday include proposals to refuse any asylum the right to refugee status in Britain if they have passed through a safe country before reaching the UK.

The speech confirms the Home Secretary's intention to implement the New Plan for Immigration, which will see any refugees who arrive on UK shores through unauthorised routes denied protection - they instead will be regularly reassessed for removal to save countries they travelled through.

Mr Hobbs told LBC's Tom Swarbrick that he is "not sure" the measures will discourage migrants from coming to the UK.

He continued: "I think Priti Patel is under huge pressure to do something because if you look at the red wall collapse, for example, many of those who defected the Conservatives cited immigration as a reason why.

"I think there is within the country a body of opinion saying something needs to be done. How effective this is going to be, I do have my doubts, it relies on the cooperation of other countries to take back people who have arrived here, I'm not sure they're going to be willingly forthcoming."

Read more: Queen's Speech: Government's post-pandemic agenda set out in Lords

Daughter of migrants calls LBC to urge UK to "have some compassion"

He pointed out that dubious countries would leave Italy and Greece "absolutely overwhelmed" when dealing with asylum seekers.

Mr Hobbs further commented on public perception of asylum seekers: "The other issue that does concern people is the differentiation between those who are seeking asylum and those who are basically fleeing poverty, who are coming to this country for a better way of life but aren't necessarily being persecuted because of race, religion, nationality, political belief, etc.

"There is no doubt Brexit swung the issue of immigration so what we really need is a fair method. I've met asylum seekers. When you meet a genuine one it hits you right between the eyes."

Tom asked what can happen if to people whose applications are rejected, to which Mr Hobbs responded: "Can they be returned to the country from whence they came? I don't think it happens that frequently. It is something Priti Patel is seeking to tackle but I think the bottom line is public opinion will say that if they're not genuine we don't want them here."

The Queen said that under the New Plan for Immigration legislation, measures would be “brought forward to establish a fairer immigration system that strengthens the United Kingdom’s borders and deters criminals who facilitate dangerous and illegal journeys”.

Read more: Queen's Speech: The laws the government will try to pass in 2021

More Tom Swarbrick

See more More Tom Swarbrick

UK should prepare for 'something close to war', Nato's deputy tells LBC, amid warning members have 'neglected defence'

UK should prepare for 'something close to war', Nato's Deputy General tells LBC, as he warns Russia 'cannot be trusted'

Emma Webber (left) speaking to LBC

Mother of Nottingham attack victim Barnaby Webber blasts police ‘mistruths’ after force is put in special measures

Lord Harrington said there should be a cap on the number of asylum seekers the UK takes.

Former refugees minister Lord Harrington calls for a cap on the number of asylum seekers the UK takes

Mel Stride has backed the PM

Rishi Sunak has 'absolutely not' betrayed nation over Rwanda plan, insists minister after Braverman's attack on PM

Tom and caller

'Our family is there': Mother shares heartbreaking experience of being a British Jew during Israel-Hamas conflict

The ban will be brought into effect in months

'Children should be in the classroom to learn': Gillian Keegan orders 'blanket ban' of mobile phones in schools

Tributes have been paid to Elianne after she was stabbed to death in Croydon

Fellow pupil of schoolgirl stabbed to death in Croydon describes heartbreaking moment students were told of her killing

Scotland's first safe drug consumption space set to be openned

'Isn't this just decriminalising heroin?': Tom Swarbrick questions Labour MSP over first safe drug consumption room

The education secretary discusses educational reforms with Tom Swarbrick

Shadow education secretary says 'Building Schools for the Future Programme' would have prevented Raac crisis

Tom Swabrick

'Is it not completely mental?': Tom Swarbrick astonished as schools shut due to crumble-risk concrete before new term

Exam results

Equation sheets given to GCSE cohort in attempt lessen reduced grade inflation blow, schools minister says

Crime commentator on Adam Provan

Internal review of rapist ex-Met officer is the equivalent of 'marking your own homework', says crime commentator

Education Secretary discuss new Eton free schools on LBC

‘Bailed out by Eton’: Education Secretary discusses new free schools with Tom Swarbrick

Lucy Letby: We have to know what went so 'catastrophically wrong' says Tom Swarbrick

Lucy Letby: We have to know what went so 'catastrophically wrong' says Tom Swarbrick

Lord Edward Garnier has called for a public inquiry into Andrew Malkinson's case

Top lawyer blasts Andrew Malkinson rape case as the 'worst miscarriage of justice of the 21st century'

Suella Barge

Suella Braverman can't be blamed for housing migrants on barge with Legionella, ConservativeHome editor says