The Home Secretary Priti Patel last week paid tribute to me for my work with the Home Office in tackling the small boats crisis. The Home Secretary was telling the House of Commons about her plans to put an end to small boat crossings by ensuring that people arriving in this way will not be able to remain in the UK.
I have long campaigned to bring an end to the small boats crisis. There is a moral responsibility to stop lives being lost and vulnerable people falling into the clutches of criminal people smuggling gangs. I have also expressed concern that the cost of handling the crisis comes to over £1.5Billion a year, a huge cost to hard-working taxpayers.
Putting an end to the small boats crisis is the morally right thing to do. We simply cannot stand by while lives are tragically lost in the English Channel. Nor can we allow vulnerable people to be exploited by criminal smuggling gangs.
I will continue to work with the Home Office to end the small boats crisis. The bold package of measures that has been announced could have a real impact when it comes to putting a stop to these dangerous crossings.
In the House of Commons last Tuesday, I said:
“Does the Home Secretary agree that there is both a moral and financial responsibility to bring small boat crossings to an end and to save lives? That is what this bold package of measures is seeking to do.”
The Home Secretary responded:
“My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I pay tribute to her work with the Home Office as the Member of Parliament for Dover, which has been at the forefront of receiving people coming to the UK, and to her county council, which has been under significant pressure for many years. The dispersal policy, which was first proposed by the leader of Kent County Council, has taken time to be pushed forward, but it will not only have a significant impact on the people and taxpayers of Kent, but see the principle of fairness applied to people who rightly come to our country through legal routes as opposed to those with no legal basis to be in the UK.”