Rishi Sunak Claims Progress in Curbing Channel Crossings, but Challenges Remain

…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media. Rishi Sunak’s Efforts to Curb Channel Crossings Show Progress Amid Tory Concerns

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Prime Minister Gives Update on “Stop the Boats” Campaign

Rishi Sunak asserted that his push to “stop the boats” is yielding results, despite growing discontent among Tories regarding the state of the asylum system.

During a speech in Kent, the Prime Minister provided an update on his vow, stating that crossings have decreased by 20% since the announcement of his plan five months ago.

While acknowledging that progress is yet to be seen on the French side of the Channel, he emphasized that there is still a long way to go.

Sunak also revealed the introduction of two new barges to accommodate asylum seekers.

“Our approach is working,” Sunak proclaimed.

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“I said I will stop the boats, and I meant it.”

He added, “If you look at what is happening in Europe, the numbers are up.”

Official figures indicate a slight decrease in the number of crossings from the continent this year, although weather conditions can significantly impact these figures.

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As of now, approximately 3,800 crossings have been recorded, compared to 4,500 during the same period in 2022.

Provisional figures for April and May show an additional 3,800 crossings, while the corresponding months last year saw over 5,000 crossings.

Sunak pointed to agreements with Albania and France aimed at curbing the flow of migrants, while acknowledging the need for further action to fulfill his pledge, which is considered crucial for his prospects in next year’s election.

However, Conservatives are calling for swifter action after immigration minister Robert Jenrick admitted that the majority of Albanians who entered the UK illegally had not been returned.

Despite hundreds being repatriated since the agreement with Albania was signed, approximately 12,000 Albanians arrived via the Channel last year, compared to around 800 in 2021.

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Sunak expressed confidence in the progress made thus far, stating, “Our plan is starting to work.

Before I launched my plan in December, the number entering the UK illegally in small boats had more than quadrupled in two years.”

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While acknowledging that there is still a long way to go, he highlighted that crossings between January and May have fallen compared to the previous year for the first time since the problem emerged.

Although the UK appears to fare better than other European countries, Sunak emphasized that the government is not complacent.

He affirmed that with determination, the government can address the issue, utilizing every available tool.

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith questioned the delay in repatriating Albanians, stating, “What the hell is the hold-up?”

He demanded a thorough explanation from the Home Office regarding the lack of progress.

Tory former minister John Hayes echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the need to take steps to deport illegal immigrants already in the country and calling for stricter action against those exploiting the system.

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Sunak revealed plans to house migrants in taxpayer-funded hotel rooms in central London and on ships.

The first ship is expected to arrive in Portland within the next two weeks, and two additional ships have been secured to accommodate another thousand individuals.

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The Prime Minister’s choice of Kent for this update highlights the county’s frontline position in the migrant crisis.

According to the Office for National Statistics, net migration to the UK reached a record 606,000 in 2022, a 24% increase from 2021.

The backlog of asylum cases, which Sunak vowed to eliminate this year, currently stands at over 150,000 cases, reaching record levels.

Yesterday, Mr. Jenrick acknowledged that the asylum system is plagued with abuse and requires fundamental reform.

He defended the decision to ask asylum seekers to share hotel rooms, citing the need to alleviate the burden on taxpayers.

Jenrick also pledged to prioritize the interests of the British public over those of migrants.

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The Home Office is currently utilizing approximately 400 hotels to house asylum seekers, with the backlog in processing their claims costing an estimated £5.6 million per day.

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