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Closed petition Reform policy on Channel Crossings and create safe routes for refugees

It has been reported that the Home Office is training staff to employ “turn-around” tactics at sea, to send back small boats carrying migrants. The Government should abandon this policy, and invest in long-term solutions and safe and legal routes for refugees wishing to seek sanctuary in Britain.

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International maritime law stipulates that ships have a clear duty to assist those in distress, people at risk of losing their lives at sea must be rescued. The plans announced by the Home Office are in stark contrast to these obligations. Seeking to turn around boats carrying migrants, rather than offering aid, could put the lives of thousands of innocent refugee children, women and men have at greater risk.

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MPs investigate Channel crossings, migration and asylum

The MPs on the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee have been investigating the reasons behind the growth in migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats, and the UK's response to these crossings.

The Committee has been looking at the role of criminal gangs in facilitating the growth of this form of illegal immigration and the response of UK and French authorities to combat illegal migration and support legal routes to asylum.

Report on Channel crossings, migration and asylum

In July, the Home Affairs Committee published a report on Channel crossings, migration and asylum, which concluded that there is no single solution to dealing with irregular migration. The Committee stated that evidence-driven, fully tested policies were most likely to deter dangerous Channel crossings.

The Government responded to the Committee's report last month, underlining its commitment to tackling illegal migration and stopping dangerous small boats crossings, and setting out its plans to achieve this.

Evidence session on Channel crossings

On 22 October the Home Affairs Committee held a further session where it questioned Home Office officials and the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration to examine the current situation with Channel crossings.

At the session MPs asked about:

  • recent data on Channel crossings over the summer and the response by UK border force and other agencies
  • the changing nationality profile of arrivals
  • progress in working with international partners to combat organised crime groups facilitating channel crossings

What is the Home Affairs Committee?

The Home Affairs Committee is a cross-party group of backbench MPs that looks into the work of the Home Office and its associated public bodies.

The Home Affairs Committee is a select committee. Find out how select committees work.

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