Locking up people who enter the country illegally and banning them from settling in the UK are ‘options’ being considered by Suella Braverman and No 10 as the government puts a crackdown on small craft at the heart of its agenda.
The ideas are contained in a report by the right-wing think tank the Center for Policy Studies, for which Braverman wrote a foreword.
While the Home Secretary said she did not agree with the whole report, the Home Office did not deny that some of the ideas were being considered as potential policy.
Asked about the idea of detaining asylum seekers and banning them from settling, a government source said: “The Prime Minister and Home Secretary are primarily focused on cracking down on illegal immigration and work together on options to ensure we have control of our borders.
Labor said the government’s stance was ‘just chaos and clearly no one has a grip’.
Sunak has made stopping small boat crossings one of his political priorities despite difficulties in solving the problem, with focus groups suggesting it is a big concern for conservative voters.
The Center for Policy Studies report was co-authored by Nick Timothy, former Home Office adviser and Downing Street chief of staff; he calls for a set of new policies to stop Channel crossings.
Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister under Braverman, appeared to signal a much tougher approach in an interview with GB News on Saturday, saying he wanted to create a system “where deterrence is everywhere”.
He added: “To me that means you should have no path to life in the UK if you come here illegally. There will be policies like [deportations to] Rwanda at the heart of it – and I hope we can pass it as soon as it goes through the UK courts. It will also mean looking at how we treat people when they arrive, so that no one thinks coming to the UK is a sweetheart, and the UK isn’t a better site for people.” asylum buyers” than our EU neighbour.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary, said Braverman was “continuing a series of headlines by putting his name to a report that contradicts government policy while the immigration minister informs something totally different, and meanwhile no one is doing the serious work of sorting things out”.
“It shows Rishi Sunak’s appalling judgment in reappointing Suella Braverman and his weakness in allowing this chaos to continue.”
Cooper added: ‘The Tories have now had six home secretaries and eight immigration ministers in seven years, and all they have done is make the problems worse. Instead of rhetoric and headline chasing, they should adopt Labor’s plan, including a specialist unit within the National Crime Agency to tackle the criminal gangs who are behind this, and immediate action to eliminate the backlog and chaos in the asylum system. ”