PM plans to ban Channel migrants from appealing deportation


The prime minister is looking to ban people arriving in the UK via small boats from appealing against deportation, Sky News understands.

The potential plans have been described as “wrong, unworkable and costly” by the Refugee Council.

Rishi Sunak has made stopping Channel migrant crossings one of his five priorities in office, promising to introduce new laws to “make sure that if you come to this country illegally, you are detained and swiftly removed”.

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A report in The Times said the Home Office has now drawn up two plans to stop people arriving via this route from claiming asylum – either withdrawing the right to appeal against automatic exclusion from the asylum system or only allowing them to appeal after they have been deported.

A third proposal would prevent people from being able to use the Human Rights Act to stop their deportations, such as by claiming their right to family life.

Sky News understands the report to be accurate.

Tamsin Baxter, executive director of external affairs at the Refugee Council, said: “If true, these plans shatter the UK’s long-standing commitment to support refugees.

“The government’s own data proves that those in small boats are mostly refugees – people who have lost everything and are desperately seeking safety in the UK.

“Now the government proposes to detain and deport them without a fair hearing. It’s wrong, unworkable and costly.”

She added: “We need a fair and orderly process for people who come here in search of protection, regardless of the path they have taken to reach our country.

“That means safe routes like refugee visas and more use of resettlement.

“Currently, the only way for most refugees to ask for our help is to get into a flimsy dinghy to cross the world’s busiest shipping lane. We need to stop that but the way to do so is by replacing the chaos of the government’s proposals with a plan which is fair, orderly, compassionate and humane.”

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A Home Office spokesperson would not comment directly on the report, but said: “The unacceptable number of people risking their lives by making these dangerous crossings is placing an unprecedented strain on our asylum system.

“Our priority is to stop this and prevent these illegal crossings, and our new Small Boats Operational Command – bolstered by hundreds of extra staff – is working hard to disrupt the business model of people smugglers.”

They added: “We are also going further by introducing legislation which will ensure that those people arriving in the UK illegally are detained and promptly removed either to their home country or a safe third country.”

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