Government Bill to Tackle Illegal Small Boats Crossings

This week, I spoke in the House of Commons for the Second Reading of the Nationality and Borders Bill highlighting the importance of more secure borders to put an end to the small boats crisis.

The three main objectives of the Bill are:

  • To increase the fairness of the system to better protect and support those in need of asylum.
  • To deter illegal entry into the United Kingdom, thereby breaking the business model of people smuggling networks and protecting the lives of those they endanger.
  • To remove those with no right to be in the UK more easily.

During the debate, I said:

“…Death, violence, sex trafficking, exploitation, bribery, guns, drugs, modern, slavery, illegal migration. Make no mistake – this is the reality of the small boats crisis.

“And so, where is the compassion in walking on by. In leaving families, young children, babies in the hands of people traffickers and violent criminal gangs. When people are already safe in France and many other countries before they come to France.”

“Then let me turn to the risk to our National Security. Persons with criminal intent have been identified coming into Dover, in boats picked up in the channel. But any local person will tell you about the very many boats that do make it onto the land, onto the beaches, onto our shores. In the coastal villages of Kingsdown, St Margaret’s and Walmer and further afield. And it happens so often, even today, even this very morning.”

“We must be compassionate to people in greatest need. I believe that unites us on all sides of this house.

“But it would also be naïve to the very real risks that some people actively do wish to do us harm and they do harm others. And that’s why for our national security we must have strong borders and bring an end to the small boats crossing route.”

“… Today’ s bill, alongside its sister immigration reform bill, provides more powers to strengthen our borders, more options to work with other countries, to make sure that people are encouraged to use legal and safe routes and discouraged from using these dangerous and illegal ones.

“The bottom line is this – it’s only when migrants and traffickers alike know that they can’t break into Britain in this way, that the small boats crossings route will come to an end.”

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