Brexit ‘solution staring us in the face’ claims Maier
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A Sky News host revealed the key post-Brexit reason for the growing number of Channel crossings this year, as the embattled Suella Braverman warned of the “invasion of the southern coast”. She also admitted the immigration system is “broken” after an asylum centre was found to be overcrowded. Sky News panellists were debating how to stop the flow of immigration into Britain on The Great Debate when Trevor Philips brought up the European Union’s Dublin Convention.
Sky News’s host Trevor Phillips said: “We, after leaving the EU, came out of what was called the Dublin Convention, which meant that we could return people who landed here very quickly, very swiftly to countries on the continent where they might have been fingerprinted and identified.
“But when we came out, we couldn’t do that anymore.
“And in fact, if you look at the numbers, it’s quite striking. [In] 2020, fewer than 9,000 came across on the boats. [In] 2021, 29,000.”
Turning to Labour’s Shadow Immigration minister Stephen Kinnock, the Sky News host asked: “Isn’t that the reason?”
Mr Kinnock replied: “You’re absolutely right” adding the Government’s failure to negotiate a “successor” to the Dublin convention had also been a contributing factor.
Suella Braverman’s handling of immigration has come under closer scrutiny after the Manston asylum centre was found to be overcrowded.
The processing centre, which is supposed to hold a maximum of 1,600 people for just 24 hours for initial checks, was found to hold up to 4,000 migrants – some staying in terrible conditions for weeks.
In a speech to the Commons, the Home Secretary admitted the immigration system was “broken”, warning of an “invasion of our southern coast” after she claimed, “some 40,000 people” have crossed the English Channel this year.
According to Government data, almost 40,000 people have crossed the Channel in small boats so far this year, making the highest number since figures began to be collected in 2018.
In 2021, the total number of crossings reached 28,526 – three times as many as in 2020 when 8,404 made the perilous journey from France to Britain.
Under the Dublin Convention, Britain would be allowed to send migrants back to the first EU country they set foot in. But Boris Johnson’s choice for a hard Brexit meant Britain can no longer benefit from the EU-wide immigration rule.
Asylum seekers must be fingerprinted and lodge their asylum claim in the first EU member state they join, according to the convention.
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From January to June, the UK received over 60,000 asylum claims, with small boat arrivals accounting for roughly half of these claims.
The Home Secretary will potentially face legal action over the safety of women and children at the Manston centre in Kent. The case brought forward by lawyers from the charity Detention Action alleges ministers left a woman in “egregiously defective conditions”.
“We have taken this action out of serious concern for the welfare of thousands of people, including children, still being detained at Manston for periods far beyond legal limits,” said Jamie Wilson, deputy director of the charity. “We are calling on the home secretary to declare that anyone held at Manston for more than 24 hours is being detained unlawfully.
“We are also asking that the home secretary allow access to the facility for organisations qualified to provide support in immigration detention settings.”
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