Labour’s Diane Abbott suggested that boat patrols may have to be increased to assist Immigrants crossing the French border from Calais to come to the UK on dangerous boat journeys.
The Shadow Home Secretary told BBC Radio 4 Today Programme:
“The focus has to be, at the end of the day, saving lives.
The idea that we don’t save lives as some kind of disincentive to making the crossing is quite wrong.
We need to stop them making the crossing in the first place.”
When asked what she would do where migrants do make dangerous crossings to reach the UK and whether she would increase boat patrols in the Channel, she said:
“I may be that we should be increasing the patrols.
But that’s only a palliative. You have to stop making the crossing in the first place.
And you have to
recognisethat once they’re in British waters they’re entitled to claim asylum.
We need to work with the French to work with these people and advise them on what their real options are.”
The statement comes as former Home Office chief David Wood warned Britain risks a humanitarian crisis unless is sends back migrants rescued in the English Channel immediately to France.
At least 300 people, mostly Iranian, have been rescued from the Channel since the start of November, with more than 180 making it to Britain to seek asylum.