To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the oral evidence of the Minister for Justice and Tackling Illegal Migration to the Home Affairs Committee on 17 November 2021, HC164, Qq 757, if she will publish the measures on implementing a policy of pushbacks in the channel; and what criteria operational commanders at sea will use to determine the appropriateness of deploying those measures.
5 January 2022
Preventing the illegal entry of people to the UK in small boats is a priority for the Government. The turnaround tactics are one of a selection of tools to decrease the success rate of crossings and make the route less appealing to criminal facilitators, thereby saving lives.
Publishing details of the operational policy, the Border Force guidance and standard operating procedures, and the assessments which operational commanders use to determine when they should deploy the tactics would confer an advantage to organised criminal groups, giving them insight into how to counter or avoid the tactics.
The tactics will only be deployed when it is safe and legal to do so. We have received legal advice from leading counsel on the deployment of the tactics. We can confirm that the tactics are permitted under international and domestic law.