Uk Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to introduce a raft of new changes aimed at preventing immigrants arriving illegally via the Channel.
Her new masterplan (there was a different masterplan last year) will reduce asylum rights for migrants who arrive in Britain illegally, as well as target the trafficking gangs behind the majority of crossings. Her proposed Nationality and Borders Bill is seen as the biggest change of the asylum system in years.
The new Bill will give the UK Border Force new powers to ‘stop and redirect vessels out of UK territorial seas’, provided the French authorities agree. Hang on a minute, “if the French authorities agree?”. Well that one is doomed to instant failure.
Border Force will also be able to seize boats at sea, and to forcibly disembark migrants from boats when necessary. Umm, that is kind of what they already do – then they bring the migrants into Dover?!!
Migrants who enter the UK without permission will face potential criminal charges and up to four years in prison. Now this is more like it! Although we still end up giving them bed and board for 4 years, so not a huge difference to placing them in disused barracks.
Miss Patel said ‘Access to the UK’s asylum system should be based on need, not the ability to pay people smugglers. While people are dying and families are suffering at the hands of gangs, we have to act, and act quickly.’
Shame she did not heed those words back in 2019, when we all asked her to ‘act quickly’! Since then, another 12,000 people have arrived illegally and Kent County Council have had to ask for special help from the UK Government to cope with the numbers.
We will create a new criminal offence of entering the country illegally, giving Border Force more scope to make arrests
The Home Secretary will also introduce a new ‘two-tier’ asylum system where illegal entrants will be given far fewer privileges. Asylum seekers who apply in advance to come here through legal routes will win permission to come to Britain immediately, and will be allowed to stay indefinitely, whilst illegal migrants will be granted only permission to stay in this country temporarily, for up to 30 months.
How can temporary status still be 2.5 years?!! If you come through Heathrow legally with a tourist visa you only get 6 months.
Other measures for dealing with illegal immigrants include barring claims for most welfare benefits and restrict their ability to bring relatives here. These should have been in place since day one.
So in answer to our original question – will Priti stem the flow of migrants arriving into Kent? It’s not looking promising.