Tory MP insists France could stop small boat crossings overnight

Tory MP says French could stop small boats 'overnight'

A Tory MP has insisted France could stop small boat crossings “overnight”.

Tim Loughton, who sits on the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, called for the French to return migrants to France when they intercept rubber dinghies in their waters.

He also said more needs to be done to stop migrants from making further attempts to cross the Channel when they are caught on French beaches.

Mr Loughton made the comments when asked on Nigel Farage’s GB News show if the UK should leave the European Convention of Human Rights.

The Conservative MP said: “I think that’s a bit of a red herring. There are three things that need to be done before we have to start looking at that.

“First is to stop the boats coming across and that’s where the French absolutely need to step up.

“And they could stop it overnight by intercepting those boats in the water and bringing the passengers back to French beaches.

“Or when they actually do intercept as they are doing more of with our money and our kit those on the beaches, they confiscate the boat but let the migrants go.

“So they come back the following night and they have to get lucky once that’s got to change.”

Mr Loughton also said the Home Office needs to speed up asylum claims and for more migrant returns agreements to be struck.

He said: “Secondly, the Home Office has got to absolutely step up the time it takes to process their claims.

“And thirdly, we need to be much better and have more agreements about returning those who have a failed asylum claim.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in March struck a £500million deal with France to tackle the small boats crisis.

Mr Loughton’s comments come as a debate is raging in the Tory party about quitting the ECHR, which is ruled on by the European Court of Human Rights, in order to curb Channel crossings.

The Rwanda plan is facing a Supreme Court battle after the first flight was grounded by a Strasbourg judge.

The Government is under renewed pressure over its “stop the boats” pledge after six people died when a vessel sank off the coast of France on Saturday.

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