'Enough is enough': Government unveils new powers to stop migrant boats

Rishi Sunak has promised to end the "immoral" illegal migration trade as the Government prepares to unveil new powers to crack down on small-boat crossings in the Channel.

The legislation could come as soon as Tuesday as Home Secretary Suella Braverman said that a “safe and legal route” would be the only route into the UK.

It is expected to make asylum claims from those who travel to the UK on small boats inadmissible.

The legislation promise comes as the Prime Minister has made "stopping the boats" one of his five priorities as he faces pressure from his own backbenches to tackle illegal immigration.

He said: "Illegal migration is not fair on British taxpayers, it is not fair on those who come here legally and it is not right that criminal gangs should be allowed to continue their immoral trade.

“I am determined to deliver on my promise to stop the boats. So make no mistake, if you come here illegally, you will not to be able to stay."

Speaking to TalkTV's Julia Hartley-Brewer, Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch UK said: "If the Government doesn’t get a grip, the numbers will go up. It’s likely to be anything up to 90-100,000 this year.

"At that sort of rate, the numbers dying will also go up."

The legislation would make it the Home Secretary's duty to remove anyone who arrives on a small boat to Rwanda or a “safe third country” as soon as "reasonably practicable."

Arrivals will also be prevented from claiming asylum while in the UK, with plans to ban them from returning once removed.

Ms Braverman said: “Enough is enough. The British people want this solved.

“They are sick of tough talk and inadequate action. We must stop the boats. “Our laws will be simple in their intention and practice – the only route to the UK will be a safe and legal route.”

But the plans have been criticised by campaigners and experts, with concerns about whether some of the policies are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Rwanda scheme has been mired in legal challenges, and so far no flights carrying migrants to the Rwandan capital Kigali have departed.

Christina Marriott, executive director of strategy at the Red Cross, called it “extremely concerning”.

“The Home Office knows from its own research that this will also do little to prevent people risking their lives to seek safety.

“Again and again, we hear from people that they have no prior knowledge of the UK’s asylum system, so making it harsher is not an effective strategy,” she said.

The latest Home Office figures show 2,950 migrants have crossed the Channel already this year.