Migrants must be returned to France

I welcome moves by Home Secretary Priti Patel to seek agreement with France for the return of more migrants – as well as more stringent patrols. 

More than 280 illegal entrants crossed the Channel over three days over the Bank Holiday weekend.  

This included eight boats carrying 145 people on Friday – a record for a single day. In one case, The Home Office said that 51 people were packed on board a single inflatable boat. 

I have been calling for tougher action to stop the “incredibly dangerous” journeys since last December. 

These journeys are incredibly dangerous – indeed lives have been lost at sea. 

 That’s why I have been pressing ministers so that all illegal entrants are returned to France. Because only when migrants and traffickers alike know they will not succeed will these dangerous journeys stop. 

I welcome the Home Secretary having listened and taken action. This week she has taken fresh steps with France for more stringent patrols and is seeking agreement on returns – as well as firmer action to tackle the ruthless criminal gangs behind these crossings. I strongly support her work in this area. 

It is vital we protect the public health here in the UK. With the virus having infected the French border camps, illegal entrants should be quarantined pending return. 

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