Migrants with legitimate claims to asylum should be brought to the UK from the French coast to be processed, a charity founder has said. Clare Moseley from Care4Calais told Express.co.uk the charity’s proposal would be more effective than the Government’s current proposal to end small boats crossing the Channel.
The Government wants to remove and ban asylum seekers from re-entry if they arrive in the UK through unauthorised means.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman told MPs on Tuesday migrants will not stop coming here until the world knows that if they enter Britain illegally they will be detained and swiftly removed.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has argued his new Illegal Migration Bill, which is key to one of his five priorities for his premiership, will take back control of Britain’s borders “once and for all”.
But critics have warned the proposals are “unworkable” and will leave thousands of migrants in limbo by banning them from ever claiming British citizenship again.
Care4Calais founder, Clare Moseley, slammed the proposed legislation, which was introduced in Parliament this week.
She told Express.co.uk: “From our point of view it’s really frustrating for a number of reasons. If the Government really, truly, wanted to stop people smugglers, there’s much more effective ways of doing it.
“We’ve had conversations with them, but they don’t have any answers. If they want to stop small boats and people smugglers, they should look at the people in Calais who have viable asylum claims. They could transfer them to the UK… that would wipe out 90 percent of people smugglers’ profits overnight.”
Ms Moseley said this would remove the danger, adding that a precedent has been set with schemes already set up so people fleeing the war in Ukraine as well as migrants from Hong Kong can come to Britain.
She claimed the Government refuses to consider such a move, adding: “It’s almost as if their aim is not to stop people smugglers, it’s a PR exercise to get them votes. It seems they’re not interested in trying to stop people smugglers or save innocent lives.”
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On reports 65,000 people could cross the Channel this year, Ms Moseley said: “Last year we gave 230,000 visas to people from Ukraine and 50,000 to people from Hong Kong.
“The NHS did not draw to a halt. The economy did not crash… We can give 65,000 visas to people from other countries. These are the most vulnerable people.”
Tory MP Lee Anderson told Express.co.uk the charity’s proposed alternative would allow millions of migrants to enter the UK.
He said: “This is yet another bonkers idea from the same so-called charity that’s encouraging migrants to come to Britain in the first place.
“According to this policy, not only would we be letting in millions of migrants, we would be bankrolling their trip over here as well.”
The Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party added: “The Government should take no notice of Care4Calais and carry on with our plan to stop the boats.”
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Fellow Tory MP Scott Benton told Express.co.uk the plan to give safe passage to refugees in Calais is “absolutely farcical”.
He said: “Ms Moseley seems completely detached from the real world. The UK is already spending £3billion of taxpayer money on the asylum system and the UK has been incredibly generous in allowing so many asylum seekers to make a new home in the UK from Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Ukraine at a time when public finances are stressed and our institutions, like the NHS, are struggling.
“The fact is her approach would see a tsunami of people trying to take advantage of the UK’s generosity. If up to two percent of all Albanian men under 40 have wrongly come to the UK via the Channel when we are actively trying to prevent crossings, how many would come if the doors were swung open?”
But Ms Moseley said: “It makes no sense to say millions of refugees would suddenly start to head here. Less than one percent of the world’s refugees come to the UK. The same things that bring people to the UK – family, community ties, language etc. – take them to other countries and will continue to do so.
“Our operations in northern France focus on the provision of humanitarian aid and we seek to provide some dignity through activities like English lessons, football matches, and simple teas and coffees.”
She added: “We provide no assistance – or encouragement – to refugees with journeys to the UK. We do not want any individual to attempt to cross the Channel in a small boat, or by other dangerous means. These journeys are life threatening.
“We see the real life consequences of people smuggling – that is why we campaign for safe routes for people who want to seek asylum in the UK.”
Ms Braverman told the Commons on Tuesday there are 100 million people around the world who could qualify for protection under current UK laws and “they are coming here”.
She said: “To anyone proposing de facto open borders through unlimited safe and legal routes as the alternative, let’s be honest, there are a hundred million people around the world who could qualify for protection under our current laws.
“Let’s be clear, they are coming here. We’ve seen a 500 percent increase in small boats crossing in two years.
“This is the crucial point of this Bill. They will not stop coming here until the world knows that if you enter Britain illegally you will be detained and swiftly removed.
“Removed back to your country if it is safe, or to a safe third country like Rwanda. And that is precisely what this Bill will do. That is how we will stop the boats.”
But Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper branded the Bill a “con” and described the plans as “Groundhog Day” in the wake of criticism from campaigners who said the proposed policy would be unworkable.
Meanwhile, the controversial Bill continued to be argued over at its second reading in Parliament.
Shadow Commons leader Thangam Debbonaire told the Commons today (March 9): “A week is supposed to be a long time in politics, but when it comes to Tory promises on small boats, in 86 weeks nothing has changed.
“Six hundred and two days ago in the very place where the Leader (Penny Mordaunt) stood just now, her predecessor but one announced the second reading of the Nationality and Borders Bill. The Government’s promises on small boats then are the same as we hear now: ‘We want to stop the dangerous crossings, we want to’.
“But it is clear that nothing that comes from over that side is ever going to work. We have been here before just like last year, just like the year before. Has the Leader actually undertaken any post-legislative scrutiny of the Nationality and Borders Act before they have another go?”
Ms Debbonaire added: “Treating legislation and precious time in this House as nothing more than a feeding frenzy with bill after bill chucking red meat for a noisy minority of their own backbenchers.
“Is this an attempt to whip up support for a weak and failing leadership? Is this the best her party has to offer the country?”
The Commons Leader used a football metaphor to criticise the Opposition.
Ms Mordaunt told MPs: “Labour are borrowing from the Gary Lineker playbook. They are a party of goal hangers and the occasional left wing striker, hanging around the goal mouth, poised to seize any opportunities and to take an easy shot.
“But that only works if the ball is in the right half. This country doesn’t need goal hangers, it needs centre forwards. It needs people that put in the hard work, take tough decisions, grip a problem and work out how to solve it and create those opportunities. That is what we are doing.”
In an apparent attack on Sir Keir Starmer, Ms Mordaunt added the UK needed a team captain who “knows his own mind, has a plan, and what colour his football shirt is”.
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