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Undocumented Migrants: English Channel

Question for Home Office

UIN 94412, tabled on 16 December 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has received legal advice on the operation of a push-back policy for boats carrying illegal migrants in the English Channel; and what plans she has to implement a policy of pushing back those boats.

Answered on

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.

Answered by

Home Office
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