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Braverman vows ‘no more illegal entry, no more tragedies’ as she gets tough on traffickers | Politics | News



RNLI gives statement following Channel migrant boat tragedy

She vowed she “will not rest” until she has tackled illegal immigration, telling voters: “Judge us by our actions.”

The Government has been warned it faces electoral oblivion if it fails to remove those who come to the UK illegally. 

But Ms Braverman said: “This is a government on the side of hard-working people who play by the rules. We have a plan and the team in place to tackle illegal immigration, and we will not rest until this is done.” 

The Home Secretary laid out her three goals as she fights to defeat people traffickers: “No more illegal entry, no more uncontrolled immigration, no more tragedies.” 

Her pledge comes after four people died trying to cross the Channel in a small boat last week.

Rishi Sunak has made it a personal priority to tackle the migrant crisis as the Government prepares to change the law to ensure that people who enter the country illegally are removed.

We can reveal the Prime Minister has read 400 pages of reports to identify the key problems and “immersed himself in the weeds of the detail”.

And he is said to be “determined to sort it out”.

Suella Braverman

The Home Secretary has made tackling the migrant crisis her main priority (Image: Getty)

In today’s Sunday Express Ms Braverman outlines the new approach to controlling the country’s borders. This includes:

● A new “small boats operational command” that brings together the military and the National Crime Agency;

● The use of drones to “identify boats and tackle the gangs”;

● Freeing up immigration officers to tackle illegal working;

● Action to stop the abuse of anti-modern slavery measures;

● A dedicated unit to speed up the processing of illegal migrants from Albania.

Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman

The PM has made tackling the migrant crisis a “personal priority” (Image: Getty)

Ms Braverman promised to take action next month.

She said: “Our laws must work for us. That’s why, early in the New Year, we will introduce legislation to make it crystal clear that if someone enters the UK illegally, they should not be able to remain here.

“Instead, they’ll be detained and either sent home or to another safe country. No more late or spurious claims and appeals – and once removed they will have no right to re-entry, settlement or citizenship.”

Ms Braverman said she was also determined to crack down on Albanians coming to the country illegally.

She said: “The UK already has a returns agreement with Albania, but together we must do more to ensure those who have no right to be here are swiftly returned home.

“A new dedicated unit will speed up the processing of Albanian illegal migrants.

“Many will be returned home in the coming months.”

And in an interview with The Times, Ms Braverman acknowledged the high stakes for the Government.

She said: “This is the last-chance saloon for us when it comes to tackling illegal migration. It will be unforgivable if we don’t fix this. It will be a gross disappointment for everybody.

“The Brexit vote was in part about migration, control over our borders and repatriating sovereignty on the question of who comes into our country.

“This is an egregious example of how we haven’t taken back control.”

In a further boost to her plans, Michael Howard, Home Secretary under John Major in the 1990s, said an agreement had previously been struck directly with the French to facilitate the return of those who enter either country illegally.

Calling for the Government to have a “Plan B” to tackle the problem, he suggested the 1995 “gentleman’s agreement” proved such a policy was possible and effective.

The former Tory party leader said that deal, struck between French and UK civil servants, required the two countries to take back people who are attempting to enter the other’s territory illegally.

Michael Howard

Lord Howard has revealed a “gentleman’s agreement” exists between the UK and France (Image: PA)

Lord Howard said: “Most of the traffic was of course one way – from France to the UK. But that did not get in the way of the agreement’s implementation.

“France honoured the agreement and accepted the return of those refused entry to the UK.” The so-called “gentleman’s agreement” does not apply to asylum applications but the Tory peer suggested there is a deal to be done with France.

Lord Howard said: “Once it becomes clear that passage through France will not provide access to the UK, the incentive to travel to France will disappear and the business model of the traffickers will be broken.

“So it is very much in the interests of France that an agreement of this kind should be made.”

Tomorrow, a judgment is expected on the legality of the Government’s flagship plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda while their claims are processed.

The first flight was cancelled minutes before take-off in June following an intervention by the European Court of Human Rights. But Conservatives fear the party faces electoral disaster if the Government fails to tackle the problem.

Last week, 67 MPs defied orders from party whips and backed Jonathan Gullis’ bid to change the law so removals will take place “regardless of any decision or judgment of any international court or body”.

Backbench Tories are now threatening to try again by introducing the legislation as an amendment to the new immigration laws which the Government is to bring to Parliament next year.

Mr Gullis, one of the “Red Wall” MPs elected in 2019 said: “Failure to resolve this will see the Conservative Government no longer exist after the next general election.

“The Prime Minister must plough ahead with legislation saying that if you come here illegally you will not be allowed to claim asylum and you will be off-shored.”

Highlighting official figures which show a third of those arriving in small boats this year came from Albania, the 32-year-old Tory MP for Stoke-on-Trent said: “The Prime Minister needs to make sure we get planes in the air to Albania and to Rwanda regardless of any European court decision.

“I hope that if the only option is to leave the European Convention on Human Rights then we are willing to take that risk, because it is what the great British public want us to do.”

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