Response: Patel seeking new powers to stop UK-bound refugees
We heard this week that Priti Patel is considering ominous ‘new powers’ to forcibly turn around boats in the Channel, sending people who are trying to make it to the UK back the way they came.
In response, Clare Moseley, Care4Calais founder, said:
“This kind of ‘tough talk’ makes my blood boil. Her policy doesn’t stand inspection, it’s doomed to fail.
“Can you imagine being aboard a tiny, fragile boat, in the middle of the world’s busiest shipping lane? It’s a dangerous and terrifying place to be. The authorities that patrol these waters must focus on getting people to safely, whether the UK or France. People’s lives are at stake – it’s no time to play politics.
“Even if we turn back dozens of boats and hundreds of people, it won’t solve a thing. If I had travelled thousands of miles, leaving my home, my family and everything I knew, to escape brutal war or persecution, it could only be because there are no other options. If I don’t succeed the first time, I’ll find another boat and try again.
“We need to reach refugees before they get in a boat and risk their lives trying to cross the Channel. That means establishing a safe and legal process by which they can have their UK asylum claims assessed in France.
“That’s the sensible, fair and controlled way to manage our borders. It might not grab the headlines, but it will save lives.”