As migrant crossings rise, ‘take back control’ turns out to be an illusion

Editorial: Leaving the EU means the UK will find it harder to deal with the people crossing the Channel in small boats

Saturday 08 August 2020 17:12
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Home secretary Priti Patel promised to ‘send the navy in’
Home secretary Priti Patel promised to ‘send the navy in’

The home secretary has discovered that slogans are one thing and workable policy quite another. The rise in small boat crossings from France to England, presumably encouraged by the calm weather, seems to have taken her by surprise.

She appears to recognise that this human traffic is a problem for a government that promised to “take back control” of Britain’s borders. But she also knows that it is quite hard to do anything meaningful about it.

So her main response is to condemn the crossings as “appalling” and the numbers “unacceptably high” and “shameful”, in the hope that her voters will mistake loud condemnation for effective action.

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