Tory MPs propose to send migrants to the UK in the Falkland Islands | refugees

Conservative MPs urge ministers to send people traveling to the UK in small boats to offshore centers as far as the Falkland Islands as concerns grow that the party is losing support among Red Wall voters.

Home Secretary Priti Patel should also be ready to automatically return migrants to France if the party is to fulfill the Brexit pledge to take control of Britain’s borders, MPs said.

The increasingly extreme demands come amid mounting concerns on Downing Street and the Conservative Party about the growing number of people who risk their lives traveling in winter.

Senior officials believe at least 10 people have died in the past few weeks trying to cross one of the busiest shipping canals in the world. More than 1,000 have crossed twice in a single day in the past 14 days.

Labor accused Patel on Sunday of “grossly neglecting” to contain the growing numbers of people on the dangerous journey across the English Channel.

Downing Street’s concerns about the canal crossings became public on Friday when Boris Johnson announced a review of the government’s policy on small boats.

The Guardian spoke to six Tory MPs from so-called Red Wall and Kent constituencies on Sunday. They are calling for the government to move on in setting tough guidelines to deter people from entering the UK.

Lee Anderson, the Ashfield MP in Nottinghamshire, said he lobbied an immigration minister two weeks ago to say that offshore processing, which sends asylum seekers abroad while their cases are processed, is as quick as should start possible.

“I would be for it [using] the Falkland Islands. The only way to scare these people off is to give them the message that if you get here you will be sent 8,000 miles away, ”he said.

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay said he and his backbench colleagues are facing increasing demands on the government via email and social media to prevent boats carrying migrants from entering the UK.

“We had a Brexit election where one of the main problems was gaining control over our borders. This is very important to my constituency and many of our constituents across the UK, ”he said.

He said the government should consider sending people back to France directly, “although it could have diplomatic high-octane ramifications,” he added.

“In the long term, we should also be more involved in patrols on the French coast. If advanced economies can’t successfully patrol 100 miles with the technology we have now, that doesn’t say much and I honestly don’t believe it, ”he said.

Another MP said that Patel, who has said eleven times that she will curb the number of boats crossing the canal, has fallen into Johnson’s habit of over-promising and undercutting a key government policy.

“The voters will see through this government. HS2, welfare and migrant boats – it is difficult not to see a pattern and it has to stop, “said the MP.

Hundreds more people, including very young children, made the dangerous canal crossing into Britain over the weekend. Adults carrying teenagers and other people wrapped in blankets arrived on the south-east coast of England on Saturday with the help of lifeboat crews.

More than 24,700 people have landed in the UK so far this year after crossing the Canal in small boats – almost three times as many as in 2020.

On the Andrew Marr Show, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said Patel “largely failed” to contain the flow.

“It appears that the Prime Minister is agreeing because he is tasking the Minister for the Cabinet Office to look into this matter,” he said.

Downing Street sources said Steve Barclay was brought in to ensure various departments were working together to resolve the small boat problem.

Enver Solomon, chairman of the board of directors of the Refugee Council, said the government faces a serious challenge if it is to keep its promise to control the UK’s borders. “It needs to stop over-promising and under-delivering and recognize that this is a complex subject that requires less meaningless rhetoric and smarter realism, less scrutiny and more human compassion.”

Minnie Rahman, interim chair of the Joint Immigrant Welfare Council, said MPs treat refugees like a political football. “The reason we are seeing more dangerous crossings is because the government has blocked or restricted virtually every safe route for those seeking refuge.

“The only way the government can end dangerous crossings is by taking practical, evidence-based measures, such as providing safe, regulated means of travel for refugees.”

Claims also surfaced in the Sunday mail that Patel was so frustrated with the disabilities faced by officials and legal advisors that she considered writing to Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to list her department’s failings.

FDA union chairman Dave Penman told the Guardian that it was “undeveloped” to see pressured ministers resorting to briefings against their own employees.

“If ministers are genuinely interested in resolving this crisis, they should focus on working with their officials instead of wasting time keeping the Sunday papers transparent and desperate,” he said.

Health Minister Sajid Javid defended the government’s efforts to resolve the crisis in the canal, saying Covid had made things difficult.

“We need new agreements with countries, especially with the countries from which most of the rejected asylum seekers come, and these are not always European countries, and this interior minister has done that, she has signed new agreements and brought them into place with countries like India .

“But I would also say that the pandemic has made returning people around the world, across all asylum systems, much more difficult, and we have to take that into account,” he said.

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