Migrant crossings failures by Government ‘deeply concerning’

The Government has been accused of a “lack of competence” over migrant crossings by Labour’s shadow home secretary.

Nick Thomas-Symonds said it is “deeply concerning” and said ministers are “failing to get to grips with the crisis”.

His comments come as hundreds of migrants make the perilous journey across the English Channel every month.

More than 120 migrants have already made it to the UK aboard small boats in the first few days of August, while many others were prevented from crossing by French authorities.

Migrant welfare charities have long called for safe and legal routes of entry to the UK for those seeking asylum.

Shadow home secretary Mr Thomas-Symonds told the PA news agency: “The lack of Government competence around this issue is deeply concerning.

“It means that people are still risking their lives in the channel and ministers are failing to get to grips with the crisis.

“The Home Secretary should urgently work with her French and International counterparts to find a solution.”

However, Mr Thomas-Symonds did not specify how Labour would seek to resolve the issue were it to gain power.

More than 1,100 migrants arrived in the UK in July alone, PA analysis reveals.

That figure is almost as high as the those of May and June combined.

Home Secretary Priti Patel making a statement to MPs in the House of Commons
Home Secretary Priti Patel making a statement to MPs in the House of Commons (PA)

In recent weeks the Home Office has hit out at “inflexible and rigid” asylum regulations that it says are “not fit for purpose”.

Priti Patel’s department criticised the Dublin Regulation, which determines which EU member state is responsible for examining an asylum application.

It said it was “not fit for purpose” and said the UK will no longer be bound by EU laws and can negotiate its own returns agreement at the end of this year.

The Home Secretary has also sought to level blame at her French counterparts in recent weeks, saying she thought there could be “stronger enforcement measures on the French side”.

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