It is clear that many people who are forced to leave their nations because of violence and threats will source asylum or refugee security. Whilst some of them will accept the easiest or closest solutions, some others do so based on what they consider to be the safest and most credible location for their future. Given that over many years the UK has demonstrated that our nation is a safe location, it is understandable that some of the people who are seeking a refugee or asylum will have set out to reach our nation. Some of course will accept an easier location even though it is not where they intended to arrive in. However many will continue to travel and slide away from wherever they are located until they arrive in the location they have in their minds. Given that our nation like every other credible nation is offering asylum and refugee provision, it was very disturbing what Susan Williams stated last Wednesday in response to a question from Roger Roberts. Roger is the Lord Roberts of Llandudno who is a Liberal Democratic Peer and also a well known Methodist Church Leader. Susan Williams was the leader of the Trafford Council in the past and these question and answer items can be found here.
Roger Roberts: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what evidence they have that the majority of migrants crossing the English Channel to gain entry into the UK are part of criminal gangs; and whether they will publish that evidence.
Susan Williams: At no stage has the Government claimed that the majority of migrants crossing the English Channel are part of criminal gangs. What has been said is that the majority of crossings are judged to be facilitated by criminal gangs.
These crossings are dangerous and unnecessary – France is a safe country with a fully-functioning asylum system, and those in need of refuge have no need to make these hazardous journeys. Those who attempt to cross are endangering themselves and those who have to rescue them. And those who facilitate them are risking the lives of others in the selfish pursuit of profit. Tragically, we have seen further deaths in the last few weeks of people trying to cross the Channel in small boats. We make no apology therefore for going after the evil people smuggling gangs who facilitate the majority of these crossings.
We must ensure that those involved in people smuggling are punished with the severity it rightly deserves. The Nationality and Borders Bill will enable this and will also act as a much stronger deterrent for those tempted to pursue that despicable path. These long overdue reforms will break the business model of the criminal trafficking networks and make their activities unviable.
I would be happy to live in France, but I enjoy living in the UK and indeed our Government does invite people to live in our nation so this statement is deeply incorrect and Susan Williams and indeed the Government need to stop making such stupid claims. What is needed is to make it easier for people to arrive in our nation and for them to be considered for Asylum and Refugee in our nation.