Suella Braverman warned MPs that opposing tough new laws to tackle illegal migration would be a betrayal of hard-working Britons. The Home Secretary vowed to stop the small boats crisis once and for all by deporting tens of thousands of people entering the UK illegally.
She warned migrants “jumping the queue” that if they breach Britain’s borders to claim asylum “you cannot stay”.
Mrs Braverman insisted “fairness” is at the heart of the plans she has drawn up with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
She insisted there will be “no more sticking plasters” on illegal migration as the package of reforms is laid out.
Legislation will stop asylum, modern slavery, and human rights laws being exploited by migrants who have breached Britain’s borders.
Mrs Braverman said: “We must stop the boats and that’s what our bill will do. No more sticking plasters or shying away from the difficult decisions.
“Myself and the Prime Minister have been working tirelessly to ensure we have a bill that works – we’ve pushed the boundaries of international law to solve this crisis.
“We owe it to the British people. I’m steadfast in our aims and clear about the task ahead. This bill is the key to our plans.
“Labour and others who oppose these measures are betraying hard-working Brits up and down the country – they don’t have any answers themselves but they will still seek to block us in Parliament.
“This is about fairness and ensuring that tens of thousands of migrants each year are not jumping the queue.
“Millions more are waiting to come to our shores – we have to stop the scourge of criminal gangs taking advantage of people and putting them in danger by coming across the channel. If you come here illegally it must be that you cannot stay.”
Mr Sunak has made stopping small boats one of his top five priorities.
A new bill will be introduced that will put a legal “duty to remove” anyone entering the country illegally on the Home Secretary.
Lawyers will no longer be able to block the removals apart from in limited exceptional circumstances, with children exempt from the changes.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “Our focus will be on deporting people to safe third countries, or indeed back to their country of origin. That is the stated aim and, obviously, we have the agreement with Rwanda, we have some returns agreement.”
Government insiders said the Prime Minister and Home Secretary are taking a “no ifs, no buts” approach to ending the crisis once and for all.
A source said: “The British people have had enough. This government is determined to stop the boats and ensure we have all the powers available to remove illegal migrants from the country.
“The Prime Minister and Home Secretary are resolved to this course of action, no ifs, no buts.
“This new duty to remove will ensure that the Home Secretary’s power to remove migrants takes precedence in law and ensures asylum, human rights and modern slavery claims are blocked.”
Significant small boat crossings were first detected in 2018 when 299 people made the journey.
The following year that rose to 1,843 and by 2022 the total hit 45,755.
In the early days of the illicit people smuggling operation, crossings were mainly carried out in the summer months.
But this year, at least 2,950 people have made it to the UK from France already.
Last year saw a sudden surge in Albanians crossing in small boats.
Nearly nine out of ten of all those making the journey are men and around 70 percent are aged between 18 and 39.
Mr Sunak wants to secure an agreement for tougher enforcement in France during talks with Emmanuel Macron.
It is understood the changes will include detention powers, something Tory MPs privately believe will be impossible to implement.
One senior Conservative said the plans are “all smoke and mirrors” and cases will still end up being snarled up in the court’s system.
The Prime Minister intends to create more “safe routes” for asylum seekers, such as the existing system for people in Afghanistan, once the small boats crisis has been tackled.
Downing Street said MPs would be involved in how many people would be allowed under those changes.
Mr Sunak’s official spokesman said: “Once we have control of our borders, we will be able to open more routes, which is the fair and safe way to bring people across.”
Senior Tory Sir John Hayes warned the government cannot have “another false start” on tackling illegal migration.
He said the asylum claims process has been gamed by “a combination of economic migrants, fat cat lawyers advising them and dodgy interest groups”.
Sir John blamed the European Court of Human Rights for the failure of the Rwanda policy, saying the appeal to the court “provided a barrier and you’re right that that circle will need to be squared”.
“We will need to look at it closely to ensure that it is watertight. We can’t have another false start.
“It’s critically important for the Prime Minister, the Government and the country that we solve this problem.”
Downing Street indicated the changes can be made without the UK having to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
Sir David Normington, a former Home Office permanent secretary, said it is “highly doubtful” that making it illegal to arrive in a small boat will stop people coming.
“These are people many of whom are desperate, they have fled from persecution, and being told that there’s been a change in legislation in the British Parliament, I don’t think is going to make a big difference to them,” he said.
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