Refugees cross English Channel because they have a '99.8 percent chance of staying'

SDP leader William Clouston said the situation must change if we are to lower the number of refugees

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SDP party leader William Clouston defended Boris Johnson's Rwanda migrant plan in a clash with member of the board of Rights and Security International Scarlett Mccgwire on GB News.

Ms Mccgwire put forward that the only way to reduce the number of Channel crossings is for the UK to provide a safe way for refugees to enter the UK.

She said: "If we want to stop the small boats coming across we can say 'if you’re a genuine, come to us and we will make sure you can get to Britian,' but at the moment no one can get here. There is not route for refugees."

She added: "If we take being a haven for refugees seriously then we have to look at how we get the genuine refugees and then the channel crossings will mostly stop."

Scarlett Mccgwire and SDP Party Leader William Clouston
Scarlett Mccgwire and SDP Party Leader William Clouston

Ms Mccgwire said: "If we take being a haven for refugees seriously then we have to look at how we get the genuine refugees and then the channel crossings will mostly stop."

Mr Clouston disagreed, he said: "The reason people cross the Channel is because they've got a 99.8 percent chance of staying here.

"Near 30,000 people came here last year illegally and there will be 60 to 70,000 people this year if things don't change. You have to change the offer.

"The migrants in the channel are acting perfectly rationally given the incentives we give them."

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard Border Force vessel Searcher following a small boat incident in the ChannelClick to add image caption
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard Border Force vessel Searcher following a small boat incident in the ChannelClick to add image caption

This comes as a Government minister denied the UK is outsourcing its responsibilities by sending migrants to Rwanda, after religious leaders criticised the move.

Greg Hands also echoed Home Secretary Priti Patel’s challenge for critics of the plan to come up with a better idea to tackle small boat crossings.

Ministers are facing mounting anger over the policy from across the political spectrum, with veteran Tory MP Sir Roger Gale accusing the Government of shipping people abroad like “waste”.

It comes after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said the UK is “subcontracting out our responsibilities” by sending migrants thousands of miles to east Africa, which he claimed is “the opposite of the nature of God who himself took responsibility for our failures”.

Energy minister Mr Hands told Sky News: “No, we’re not. This is an agreement between two sovereign countries, the UK and Rwanda.

“I think what others, the critics of this plan, need to do is to show what their solution would be.”

Ms Patel had challenged opponents of the scheme to come up with a better idea to tackle “illegal” migrant crossings.