Channel migrants: Crawley MP Henry Smith calls for Home Secretary Suella Braverman to take action on English Channel small boat migrant crossings

Crawley MP Henry Smith has questioned Home Secretary Suella Braverman in the House of Commons about illegal immigration to the UK, and has welcomed confirmation that legislation will be introduced to address this issue.
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Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday [October 31], Mr Smith said: “Many of us in Crawley are deeply concerned about the continued images we see of those who have paid people smugglers to undertake dangerous English Channel small boat crossings to make it to the UK illegally.

“It is plainly wrong that hard-working Crawley taxpayers are having to fund support for those who come to Britain illegally.

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“This is also an affront to those legally undertaking the process of coming to the UK by adhering to that most British of ideas – fair play.

Crawley MP Henry Smith has questioned Home Secretary Suella Braverman in the House of Commons about illegal immigration to the UK, and has welcomed confirmation that legislation will be introduced to address this issue. Picture by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty ImagesCrawley MP Henry Smith has questioned Home Secretary Suella Braverman in the House of Commons about illegal immigration to the UK, and has welcomed confirmation that legislation will be introduced to address this issue. Picture by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images
Crawley MP Henry Smith has questioned Home Secretary Suella Braverman in the House of Commons about illegal immigration to the UK, and has welcomed confirmation that legislation will be introduced to address this issue. Picture by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

“The UK will always be a generous country and the way Britain has welcomed those fleeing persecution including in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Hong Kong in recent years is to be commended.

“But such systems are undermined by the unconscionable evil trade in trafficking human lives across the Channel.

“I’m grateful for the Home Secretary’s assurance that the Government will introduce legislation to stop the abuse of the generosity of the British people. There’s not a moment to lose.”

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Mr Smith then asked the Home Secretary: “Many people in my constituency are worried about paying their heating bills, many people in my constituency are concerned about getting GP appointments, and many of my hotels are full up with illegal migrants.

“Does the Home Secretary appreciate the sense of unfairness that my constituents feel? When will legislation be introduced to resolve the situation?”

Ms Braverman replied: “Yes, I appreciate the seriousness of the issue. It has been my number one priority since September.

“It is unacceptable that we are spending £6 million a day on hotel accommodation for asylum seekers. It is unacceptable that we have 35,000 asylum seekers in hotels distributed around the country. We need to bring that to an end.

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“We need a comprehensive plan of alternative sites, we need to speed up our processing of asylum, we need to remove people from the UK more quickly, and ultimately we need to change our law.

“We will introduce legislation later this year to ensure that there is no longer any abuse of our laws.”