After accusing the French of “stalling” progress Boris Johnson has been questioned on whether he intends to tackle the post-Brexit immigration ‘mess’ and resolve the issue head on.
The UK began a new relationship with the EU last week after the Brexit transition period ended. During the transition Britain remained subject to the bloc’s rules as a member of the single market and customs union. As from 11pm on December 31st this ended. The UK and EU now cooperates under a free trade deal.
“Reducing immigration in the UK” remains a key issue for Tory voters. Former MEP Nigel Farage said that he saw a problem with Home Secretary Priti Patel’s claims on immigration, as 2021 is not even a week old and the first illegal immigrants have already arrived at the Port of Dover. Mr Farage also went on to blast the celebrity ‘do-gooders’ and ‘lefty lawyers’ who had signed an open letter in November calling for a deportation flight to Jamaica to be cancelled.
He said: “Convinced of the evil intent of the government following the Windrush scandal, these celebrities and politicians managed to help prevent some of the deportations from going ahead”.
Mr Farage did however, acknowledge that Ms Patel did understand the ‘importance’ of border controls. In 2020 the official number of people ‘coming to these shores via inflatable dinghies reached 8.500’.
Ms Patel last week, once again pledged to use ‘even tougher powers to keep this country safe and protect our homeland security’, after the UK left the EU.
She said the Brexit deal ‘gives our police and security services the tools and partnerships to help keep the public safe’. That includes banning foreign criminals who have served more than a year in jail from entering the UK’. Ms Patel pledged to ‘crack down’ on illegal immigration and ‘reform the broken asylum system’.
The home secretary however, faces a problem now that the UK no longer deals with asylum claims under the Dublin regulation. The regulation allowed British authorities to return people who had previously claimed asylum in another EU member state.
Mr Farage said: “The problem for Patel is that, Britain leaving the EU, the Dublin regulations have expired and have not been replaced with anything else”.
“The French have successfully stalled us, so what will the British government do”? “It could return to France those who arrive in the UK illegally, but I see a legal problem here”. He explained that the UK has agreed to remain part of the European Human Rights act.
If the UK violates terms under the European Human Rights act, the “whole of the trade agreement could be terminated by the EU”, according to Mr Farage.
As things stand, the government will continue to face legal challenges if it tries to deport convicted criminals and the cross-Channel migrant route will be as busy as it was last year”.