Radical Common Sense: Elder Stateswoman Says Migrants Should Be Detained While Asylum Claims Processed, Not Left at Large

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Conservative elder stateswoman Ann Widdecombe has suggested a radical common sense approach to deterring illegal immigration to Britain — namely detaining asylum seekers while their claims are verified rather than letting them wander where they will.

“It isn’t a question about whether we’re welcoming or not, our problem is that we’re just not taking any realistic action to deter them from coming in the numbers that they’re coming in,” said Ann Widdecombe, a John Major-era government minister who defected to the Brexit Party and being elected a Member of the European Parliament in the last EU elections Britain participated in.

“The idea of saying that we’re going to cooperate with France, we’ve been cooperating with France for years they haven’t been cooperating with us, we’ve paid them huge sums of money they haven’t delivered,” she told GB News.

This is not strictly true, however, as while British government ministers have occasionally complained that the French have failed to prevent migrants from using their country as a launchpad for crossing to Britain, the French and British coastguard do cooperate regularly. The problem is in these multiple known instances of close cooperation, they are working to facilitate migrants’ entry into British waters, not prevent it.

With Australia-style plans to transfer migrants to a third safe country, namely Rwanda, stalled by an anonymous judge at the European Court of Rights — which Widdecombe believes the United Kingdom should separate from — and the Border Force seemingly unwilling to cooperate with pushbacks at sea, whatever the government says, the political elder stateswoman said that relying on the French to solve the Channel crisis for Britain after yet another taxpayer cash giveaway is not going to cut it.

“No salvation at all is in cooperating with France,” she insisted.

“I think we need to implement the policy that I advocated 20 years ago which is that you automatically detain in secure accommodation all new asylum seekers so we know where they are while we consider their cases individually, and because we know where they are we can return those that do not qualify for asylum.”

It remains a matter of some surprise to Britons that, after showing up in Britain, often after arriving by illegal means, asylum seekers are not detained long-term while their asylum claims are vetted — and efforts made to establish their identities and possible threat level to the British public.

Instead, they are generally transferred into taxpayer-funded accommodation — often hotels — and left at large in society. This is despite the the fact that some turn out to be criminals previously deported from Britain, and the fact that hundreds have simply disappeared in recent months.

Widdecombe noted that such people are aided by Britain’s “flourishing underground economy” and abuse of the fact Britain has determined to keep itself fa free a society as possible by not having national identity cards, something most European nations have. These factors, Widdecombe said, makes the country “one of the easiest places in which to disappear.”

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