July 25, 2021

UK wants to criminalize Channel crossings

After the introduction, at the beginning of 2021, of a point migration system ending the free movement of Europeans in the United Kingdom, after Brexit, the Home office (the British Home Office) published on Tuesday 6 July, a second bill supposed to complete the mechanism aimed at “Take back control” of the country’s borders. Already very controversial, the Nationality and Borders Bill aims to criminalize Channel crossings in the small boats, these inflatable boats more and more used despite the danger. It also opens the way to the exile of asylum seekers outside the national territory while they assess their requests.

In 2020, according to the Home Office, around 8,500 people were intercepted, up from 1,800 in 2019.

Since the start of the year, more than 6,600 migrants have reached the Kent coast (in the Dover region), rescued or intercepted by the British Coast Guard, according to the report. Times, despite the pandemic and bad weather. These figures remain modest compared to other European countries – Italy welcomed around 34,000 people who arrived by sea, Spain 40,000 in 2020, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. But they have increased a lot: in 2020, according to the Home Office, around 8,500 people were intercepted trying to arrive illegally in the UK by boat, up from 1,800 in 2019.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also UK wants to drastically restrict arrivals of ‘illegal’ migrants

“For too long, our asylum system has lined the pockets of abominable smuggling gangs taking advantage of a completely broken system. It is unfair to vulnerable people who really need protection and to UK citizens who are paying for the system. It’s time to act “, Home Secretary Priti Patel, an early brexiter, very to the right of the Conservative Party, said Tuesday.

The text of the law confirms a different treatment for asylum seekers who have formulated their request within the framework of official “relocation plans”, from those who entered the country illegally: the latter will see their rights to family reunification or to family reunification. access to cropped aids. Even if their request is accepted, the Home Office will only grant them temporary status.

Prison sentences incurred

The text also increases from six months to four years the prison sentences incurred in the event of “Illegal entry” in the country. London also gives itself the right to restrict the issuance of visas to countries refusing to cooperate in accepting the return of nationals refused asylum. And give more powers to the coast guards to push back migrant boats to the French coasts, “Subject to an agreement with France”. Finally, asylum seekers could be moved out of the country while their request is being investigated, paving the way for “offshore” refugee centers. The Times said at the end of June that London was in talks with Denmark to share a center for asylum seekers in Rwanda.

You have 49.65% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.