Rishi Sunak defends controversial plan to stop migrants from entering the country

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has defended his government’s proposals to stop almost all illegal migrants from entering the country without prior permission.

Speaking during a session in the British House of Commons on Wednesday, Sunak stated that stopping the small boats crossing the Channel to the UK is not only one of his government’s priorities, but that it was also the people’s priority.

”But stopping the boats, Mr. Speaker… stopping the boats is not just my priority, it is the people’s priority,” he said.

Sunak’s comments come after his government this week introduced proposed legislation that would put a stop to migrant boats crossing the English Channel from France.

However, Sunak’s government couldn’t say for certain that the proposal complies with international law.

The UK has seen a sharp rise in the number of people arriving in small, non-seaworthy boats, after having paid human traffickers to get them into Britain.

The British government’s bill however is aimed at discouraging people from making the trips.

On Wednesday, in Parliament, labor Leader Kair Starmer, who criticized Sunak’s policies towards illegal migrants, stated that the government’s policy wouldn’t work and the number of migrants would increase.

”Mr. Speaker, he stood there last year saying the exact same thing, we said it wouldn’t work, they passed the law, and the numbers went up. Absolutely deluded. He can’t say where they’ll return people because they spent 140 million (pounds) on Rwanda and it doesn’t work, they can’t say how they’ll return people because this bill doesn’t come with a single new return agreement and they can’t say when they’ll fix the mess because it’s more talk, more gimmicks, more promises to be broken” Starmer said.

This comes as the UK’s government has imposed strict policies against illegal asylum seekers entering the country via the Channel from Europe.

Last year, the government announced a plan to send migrants to Rwanda until their asylum cases were approved or rejected. However, this plan was scuttled after court applications were submitted to halt the move.

The United Nations’ refugee agency earlier this week urged British lawmakers to reconsider the plan, saying it would be a “clear breach of the Refugee Convention” and amount to an “asylum ban.”

The government says the new law, once approved by Parliament, will deter migrants and stop smuggling gangs who send desperate people on hazardous journeys across one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.