Home Office Refuses to Comment on Record Migrant Numbers During Period of National Mourning

A group of people thought to be migrants, are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border
Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images

The Home Office is refusing to issue comments on the illegal migrant crisis in the English Channel after a new yearly record was set this week, with bureaucrats claiming that it would be inappropriate to discuss the issue during a time of national mourning.

Another grim milestone was reached this week in the ongoing migrant crisis in the English Channel, with 29,130 illegal migrants being recorded as having reached British shores since the start of the year, after 601 landed on Monday and a further 538 came on Tuesday, according to Ministry of Defence statistics.

While the true number may in fact be higher as the government figures do not reflect migrants who evade detection by the Border Force and arrive in the country clandestinely, the official figures mean that more illegals were recorded arriving this year than all of 2021 when 28,526 were logged as having crossed the Channel.

Despite a new yearly record being set, with last year being the previous holder, the Home Office will reportedly not be issuing comments to the press, claiming that it would be inappropriate to do so during the ten-day national period of mourning for the late Queen Elizabeth II, according to BBC reporter Simon Jones.

Besides having seen a change to who sits on the British throne last week, the UK has also seen a near complete change of government, with recently installed Prime Minister Liz Truss opting last Monday to replace nearly all of Boris Johnson’s cabinet, including at the Home Office.

Priti Patel was replaced as Home Secretary by former Attorney General Suella Braverman. Much like Patel, who promised — but failed — to “get tough” on illegal immigration, Braverman has promised to take a hard line on the issue. It remains to be seen if Braverman, who is seen as hailing from the right or the Conservative party, will be able to fair better than her predecessor, however, major issues remain in her way.

The first hurdle facing Braverman will be the issue of migrant removals. In April, then-Home Secretary Priti Patel signed an agreement with the East African nation of Rwanda to house boat migrants while their asylum claims are processed rather than allowing them to remain on British soil during the interim.

The government had hoped that instituting such a policy would act as a deterrent against further illegal immigration, however, such plans have not panned out. In a controversial step, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which the UK is still bound by as it is technically a separate body from the EU and therefore was unaffected by Brexit, stepped in and blocked the first deportation flight to Rwanda in June.

It will be up to the new government under Liz Truss whether Britain will stay within the confines of the Strasbourg-based court. Braverman, who unlike Truss was a staunch supporter of Brexit during the referendum, made leaving the ECHR a central policy plank of her short-lived candidacy in the contest to replace Boris Johnson. Truss, on the other hand, has argued that the UK should seek to reform its relationship with the European court.

Notwithstanding the decision on the ECHR, the government is still facing legal challenges domestically, with open borders charities launching a bevvy of legal challenges against the Rwanda scheme. The case, brought forward by groups such as Care4Calais, Detention Action, and the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents the majority of Border Force officers, is not expected to conclude until October.

Even if the government clears the legal hurdles, it still is not a forgone conclusion that it will do anything to solve the crisis, as there is no guarantee that the Rwanda scheme will act as a deterrent.

Breitbart London has contacted the Home Office for comment.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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