UK: Braverman seeks to backdate Channel crossings law amid fears of rush

The latest effort by the UK government. Numbers are comparable to Roxham Road. And like Roxham Road, France may be less interested than the UK in adopting measures that restrict asylum seekers from leaving France:

Refugees who cross the Channel in small boats from Tuesday could face detention and deportation under a new migration law that Labour and charities have called “unworkable” and “cruel”.

In an acknowledgment that the law will prompt a fresh rush of refugees across the Channel, the Home Office is seeking to make the illegal migration bill apply retrospectively from the day it is introduced to parliament, the Guardian has been told.

Suella Braverman, the home secretary, will ask for the proposed law to be applied from the moment she stands up in the Commons on Tuesday. The move follows criticism from unions that the legislation could result in an increase in trafficking across the Channel as refugees attempt to reach the UK before it is passed.

A Home Office source said: “If parliament passes the bill, the measures will be retrospective and apply from the date of introduction. That’s to stop people smugglers seizing on the opportunity to rush migrants across the Channel to avoid being subject to the new measures.”

Lucy Moreton, of the Immigration Services Union, said the plans would “fuel the service” for people smugglers, at least in the short term, “who could tell would-be arrivals that they needed to travel soon”.

Braverman is expected to say that under the new law, asylum claims from those who travel to the UK in small boats will be inadmissible, and the arrivals will be removed to a third country and banned from returning or claiming citizenship.

Details about how the policy will be implemented are scarce, with previous efforts to tighten procedures – such as the policy to send people to Rwanda – mired in legal challenges.

On Monday evening, a Downing Street spokesperson said Rishi Sunak had spoken to Rwanda’s president ahead of Braverman’s statement.

The prime minister and Paul Kagame “discussed the UK-Rwanda migration partnership and our joint efforts to break the business model of criminal people smugglers and address humanitarian issues”, the spokesperson said.

Source: Braverman seeks to backdate Channel crossings law amid fears of rush

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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