'Soft touch' Britain must return illegal boat migrants to France

Concern is growing at the increasing number of migrants seeking to break into Britain illegally by boat, with the country coming across as a ‘soft touch’ and a former senior Home Office official urging the government to return migrants to France. Those seeking to enter Britain illegally are coming from a safe European country, they have no right to come to the UK.

40 migrants were discovered on 5 boats on Christmas Day alone, and all were brought to the UK. More migrants landed on a Kent beach yesterday, with another small boat discovered off Dover. Westmonster has asked the Home Office if any of those caught are being deported, but they have yet to confirm.

David Wood, a former senior civil servant who oversaw immigration enforcement, has told The Telegraph: “Britain’s border force, coastguards and lifeboats are being used as a taxi service for the migrants.

“As far as organised crime is concerned, it’s de-risked their business. They know they don’t have to get right across the Channel and land, they can get half way across and the migrants will be taken the rest of the way.

“We have to stop this or it will grow and grow. It will escalate. The answer is to return them to France as soon as they are picked up.

“If we did that straight away, they would realise that paying £5,000 to the people smugglers would achieve nothing and they would just be taken back to France.”

His extremely sensible comments come as Conservative MP Tim Loughton warns that: “We appear to be giving the impression of being a soft touch again.”

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Dover MP Charlie Elphicke, who has sounded the alarm on this for a while has also said that: “It’s time for action from the Home Office. That means deploying more cutters and coastal patrol vessels as a deterrent.”