'She has no credibility' Priti Patel urged to RESIGN as Channel crossing chaos rocks UK

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Priti Patel advised on tackling immigration by Saunders

Under the Home Secretary Priti Patel’s new plan — signed off by the Prime Minister — the Navy will have the power to instruct Border Force, fisheries protection and the coastguard to intercept dinghies crossing the Channel.

This was one of many ideas drawn up as part of what has been dubbed “Operation Red Meat”, aimed at saving Boris Johnson’s premiership and appeasing Tories. Mr Johnson continues to face calls for resignation over attending a drinking event at Downing Street during a nationwide lockdown.

But it is not just Mr Johnson who should be reconsidering his position, according to Zoe Gardner, policy adviser at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants. She told told Express.co.uk that Priti Patel has “no credibility at all” and should be reevaluating her position along with the Prime Minister. Ms Gardner says: “Him, because of the parties and her because she’s an abject failure in her brief.”

PRITI PATEL MIGRANTS

Priti Patel has “no credibility at all” and should be reevaluating her position along with the Prime (Image: GETTY)

In 2019, Ms Patel pledged to halve migrant crossings at the end of the month when there had been around 1,500 people crossing in small boats.

But in 2021, the number of people crossing was triple the number for 2020, despite huge UK investment at the taxpayer’s expense in France to prevent crossings.

Under Ms Patel’s rule, people smugglers are also making more money.

Ms Gardner believes the Government is desperately trying to deflect attention from Boris Johnson, but also from the Home Secretary who is “flailing wildly to try and regain some credibility”.

Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey agrees. He said yesterday in the Commons: “The military are there to protect the nation, not to protect Tory ministers” and that the Government is “desperate to prop up a Home Secretary who has utterly failed for two years.”

JOHN HEALEY

Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey agrees. (Image: PA IMAGES)

According to the Times, the Royal Navy has rejected the plans citing concerns that they are illegal and could lead to the death of more migrants.

In the House of Commons yesterday, Tory backbenchers all shared similar concerns on the burden the plan could create on the already-stretched British military and the efficacy of the operation.

Desmond Swayne, a Conservative MP, warned that the plan “would have the reverse effect of that intended”.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights said on Wednesday in a new report that the Government reforms of the asylum system would fail to meet the UK’s human rights obligations and risk exacerbating “the already unacceptable backlog of claims”.

Deputy Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Joanna Cherry QC MP said: “Rather than coming up with new punitive measures and lambasting the difficulties in rejecting asylum applications, the Government should focus on dealing with the lengthy backlog of cases.”

MIGRANTS

Government reforms of the asylum system would fail to meet the UK’s human rights obligations (Image: PA IMAGES)

Ms Gardner believes that the buzzword “military”, sounds like you’re doing something, but they’re “absolutely not and in practice it’ll make no difference”.

Plans were also being drawn up by the Government to send UK asylum seekers to countries such as Ghana and Rwanda for “offshore processing”, according to reports.
The Ghanaian government denied the claims and said in a statement: “[we have] not engaged with the UK on any such plan and do not intend to consider any such operation in future”.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said the Government is “making things up for the sake of headlines” and Ms Gardner says: “They’re pulling names of countries out of a hat at this point.”

PRITI PATEL

The Government is “making things up for the sake of headlines” (Image: PA IMAGES)

The rhetoric of migrants stealing jobs, thus affecting the economy is paradoxical to the fact that the Government is wasting reams of taxpayer money on immigration control measures, Ms Gardner added.

She said: “The cost of the taxpayer has been enormous and it has comprehensively failed. There’s absolutely no doubt that it costs us far more to try to enforce these failed enforcement strategies than it would to actually invest in an asylum system that helps people through quickly and efficiently.”

In 2019, two patrol vessels were redeployed from defence tasks to the Channel and they intercepted no boats at a cost of £780,000 to the taxpayer.

In 2017-18, the Government spent £522 million, with an income of just £22 million, on charging carriers for expedited transit through the UK border.

MIGRANTS

UK Government’s plans on asylum violates the Refugee Convention in spirit and letter (Image: PA IMAGES)

Ms Gardner proposes an alternative whereby people fleeing countries “like Afghanistan, Sudan or Syria” can apply for a travel document, which allows them to travel “just like you or I.” These people then enter the UK asylum system and have their claims heard “just as they should be.”

Clare Moseley, founder of Care4Calais, told Express.co.uk: “People we work with in Calais are ordinary men and women who have simply had the misfortune to be born in a country that is much more dangerous than ours. They have done nothing wrong.”

UNHCR, the guardian of the 1951 Refugee Convention, has said on multiple occasions the UK Government’s plans on asylum violates the Refugee Convention in spirit and letter.



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