Covid has made it more difficult to tackle migrant crisis, says Minister

The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic made it difficult to send rejected asylum seekers back to their countries of origin, said the health minister – as the government was accused of failing to cope with the migrant crisis.

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said Sunday that at the current pace, if the government fails to act, more migrants will travel across the English Channel to the UK than there will be voters in the Home Secretary’s constituency.

Hundreds more people, including very young children, made the dangerous canal crossing into Britain over the weekend.

Adults carrying teenagers and others wrapped in blankets arrived on the south-east coast of England on Saturday with the help of lifeboat crews.

Although official figures have not been confirmed, it is believed that hundreds of people made the trip.

More than 24,700 people have landed in the UK so far this year after crossing the Canal in small boats – almost three times as many as in 2020.

Mr. Thomas-Symonds accused Interior Minister Priti Patel of “not containing the flow comprehensively”.

He told the Andrew Marr Show on the BBC that it was a “dangerous failure,” adding, “And it appears that the Prime Minister is agreeing because he’s hiring the Cabinet Secretary to look into this matter.”

The Times reported that Boris Johnson had convened Duchy of Lancaster Chancellor Steve Barclay to oversee the problem of the increasing numbers of migrants arriving on the British coast.

The newspaper said the Prime Minister was “upset” with the situation after a number of strategies failed to bring the numbers down.

And Mr. Thomas-Symonds said: “And if the rate (of crossings) continues as it is now, if the rate of increase repeats itself from last year to this year next year, we will have just as many people taking their risk risk lives in the canal as there are people in Priti Patel’s constituency, their incompetence on this issue is dangerous. “

He added: “First of all, we need a workable deal with the French authorities that Priti Patel does not have.

“All she is interested in is diplomatic quarrels with the French government. We do not need that.”

Meanwhile, French officials said that in the ports of Boulogne-sur-Mer, Dunkirk and Calais, 243 people in trouble were recovered and brought to safety.

It is believed that at least 10 migrants have died trying to negotiate the dangerous crossing in the past few weeks.

But Health Minister Sajid Javid defended the effort, saying Covid had made things difficult.

He said to Andrew Marr: “We need new agreements with countries, especially with the countries from which most of the rejected asylum seekers come, and these are not always European countries, and this Home Secretary has done that, she has signed and set new agreements this with countries like India one.

“But I would also say that the pandemic has made the repatriation of people around the world, across all asylum systems, much more difficult, and we have to take that into account.”

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