Channel crossings: Trevelyan on Rwanda plan
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About 350 migrants have crossed the English Channel from France to the UK over the weekend, putting in doubt the Rwanda immigration plan aimed at acting as a deterrent to English Channel crossings. Last Thursday, Parliament passed the Nationality and Borders bill, making it a criminal offence to deliberately arrive in the UK illegally and granting the Government powers to process asylum seekers abroad. LBC presenter Nick Ferrari put the rising Channel crossing numbers to a squirmy International Trade Secretary: “Given the events over the weekend with hundreds of people making the crossing, is the Rwanda plan a failure before it even actually starts?
Secretary Trevelyan answered: “No, no quite the opposite.
“So, the bill became law at the end of the parliamentary session.”
“And now, the Home Office is able to start to operationalise the policy that will see some migrants going to Rwanda for assessment of their claim.”
LBC’s Ferrari then asked: “When will the first flight go to Rwanda, do you imagine Secretary?”
“I can’t tell you that Nick because I’m not privy of the detail, but I know that the teams are working at pace now that the law has been passed to operationalise and make it a thing.
“So, very clearly, we’ve set out that this will be related to anyone since January 1 who may be eligible.”
According to refugee charities, the Government is failing to deter more migrants from coming in as hundreds of people were found making the perilous journey across the Channel over the weekend.
One of the main reasons put forward by Home Secretary Priti Patel to defend her controversial plan is to protect migrants against smugglers.
Secretary Trevelyan continued: “Really, really importantly though, what we need to continue to do is continue to remember why we’re doing this, which is to stop people’s smugglers who are making a great deal of money by putting vulnerable people at risk.”
LBC’s Nick Ferrari cut her off, raising again the weekend’s migrants’ crossings: “But it wouldn’t appear to be stopping them, Secretary of State. We have 350 people across the weekend.”
She responded: “So that’s why we continue to do this and use the tools that we have and now this new tool in our armoury to try to reduce that impact because we do not want to see vulnerable people.
“There are many legal ways to apply for asylum.
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“We don’t want to see those people put in those small boats in what is one of the busiest and choppiest waters across the Channel so that we can make sure that we look after those and provide a home for those who are genuine asylum seekers.
The new Channel crossings come after an 11-day interruption in activity around the Channel between April 20 and 30 amid reports of strong winds and choppy seas.
Refugee organisations say the bill fails to address the reasons people come.
Care4Calais told The National: “Refugees have escaped from the worst horrors in this world
“When you’re risking your life, what else do you have to lose?”
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