Migrant crisis: Rishi Sunak vows 'major clampdown' on Albanians but PM says asylum seekers will now be housed in HOLIDAY PARKS
Prime Minister admits 'enough is enough' with £5.5m-a-day spent on hotels for asylum seekers
RISHI Sunak has unveiled new measures to try and clear the massive backlog of asylum claims by next year.
The Prime Minister said “enough is enough” as he announced plans to clamp down on Channel crossings.
Mr Sunak told the Commons: “unless we act now and decisively, this will only get worse” as he set out a five-point plan in a bid to grip the migrant crisis.
The pile up of claims has grown over recent years with the latest Home Office figures revealing there were more than 143,000 asylum seekers waiting for a decision in the year to September while nearly 100,000 had been waiting more than six months.
Under new plans, a 400 strong specialist team will work in a dedicated unit to handle claims from Albanians to abolish the backlog.
A “new, permanent, unified small boats operational command” is also set to be established, bringing together military and civilian staff and the National Crime Agency to share information about Channel crossings.
A ramp up immigration raids hope to crack down on illegal working by 50 percent with more than 700 new staff added and funding doubled for the NCA to tackle organised immigration crime in Europe.
And Holiday parks, former student halls and even surplus military sites will be used to provide accommodation for at least 10,000 people to help end the “unfair and appalling” £5.5 million spent every day on hotels to house asylum seekers.
The numbers of Albanian migrants crossing the Channel will also be addressed with a new agreement with the country’s government and reform modern slavery rules as weekly flights are expected to take people back to the country.
Border Force officers will be stationed in Tirana airport in a bid to disrupt criminal gangs, while case workers required to have evidence of modern slavery when considering a claim.
Mr Sunak also promised to restart flights to send migrants to Rwanda and introduce new legislation in 2023 to make it “unambiguously clear that if you enter the UK illegally you should not be able to remain here.”
The Prime Minister added that the only way to come to the UK for asylum will be “through safe and legal routes.”
Mr Sunak insisted this was the “fair way to address this global challenge” and warned: “Tackling this problem will not be quick. It will not be easy. But it is the right thing to do.
“Because we cannot persist with a system that was designed for a different era. We have to stop the boats. And this Government will do what must be done.
“We will be tough but fair.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer dismissed the proposals as “unworkable gimmicks”, instead arguing that his party would offer “serious solutions”.
GB News presenter and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the plans "weren't worth a row of beans".
He told Patrick Christys: "We've heard it all before. We're going to have officials at Tirana Airport. So what? Are young Albanians who want to come and join criminal gangs in the UK going to put their hands up and say 'Please Sir, can I come to Britain?'.
"Of course not. Most people who come to this country illegally do so via small boats from the north coast of France."
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