Sunak reveals two more asylum barges and says small boats policy is working with crossings down 20%

Logo The IndependentThe Independent
2023-06-05 11:06:09  • 3 mins

RishiSunakhas claimed that his plan to tackle small boats crossing the English Channel is now working, as he announced two more barges to house asylum seekers.

The prime minister used a speech in Kent to say the number of migrants making the crossing were down by 20 per cent since last year and boasted: Our plan is starting to work.

MrSunakdefended putting asylum seekers on barges and revealed that the government had secured two new vessels to house another 1,000 people, beyond the 500 migrants set to be placed in a barge off Dorset within a fortnight.

He also announced that two new large sites will open at Wethersfield and Scampton will accommodate asylum seekers saying the facilities would take in nearly 3,000 by the autumn.

Mr Sunak said his returns deal with Albania had led to 1,800 Albanians being sent back, arguing that his crackdown was having a deterrent effect on small boat crossings.

The PM said the number of Albanians arriving on small boats had fallen by 90 per cent. He claimed that it was proof that our deterrence strategy can work, telling reporters that deporting people would mean they stop coming.

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