‘Europeans don’t want to play’: Border force manager blames EU for migrant crisis

Europeans ‘don’t want to play’ says former Border Force manager

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Kevin Saunders, a former chief immigration officer operating in Calais, defended the UK Government’s new policy that will see unauthorised migrants flown more than 6,000 miles to Rwanda to be processed. Facing criticism that it was costly and punishing refugees not people smugglers, he suggested that “the real elephant in the room” is Europe’s reluctance to house migrants, instead pushing them towards the UK.

Speaking to GB News, Saunders said: “Europe is quite safe. These people could quite happily claim asylum, as a number of them have done already, in Europe.

“The big problem that we’ve got, the real elephant in the room here, is the fact that the Europeans don’t want to play.

“They will say ‘if you want asylum, the UK’s that way, off you go’. And that’s the big problem.

“Get a European agreement on this and the problem will disappear.”

Speaking about the relationship with Europe following the conclusion of negotiations with Rwanda, home secretary Priti Patel said that the Council of Europe had stated their interest in the programme.

She said: “The Council of Europe have also basically said they are interested in working with us.

“They are expressing an understanding that we can’t carry on as we are and that we need other solutions.

“We cannot accept the status quo otherwise we will see more people die, quite frankly, this summer.”

Nearly two million unauthorised migrants entered European Union countries in 2020, which are the latest figures released.

In the year ending September 2021, less than 30,000 attempts to cross the Channel into the UK were made.

There were 37,562 asylum applications in the UK that same year, which was an 18 percent increase on the previous year, according to Government data.

Following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last year and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the number of asylum seekers is expected to rise considerably.

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Mrs Patel signed a deal last week with Rwanda to send immigrants to the African continent in a long-running bid to fix the migrant crisis.

Mrs Patel was reported to be considering an array of options to stem the flow of people illegally attempting to enter the UK before negotiating with Rwanda.

The African country will house the migrants for at least three months while their application is processed.

Should they be successful, they will then be allowed to stay in Rwanda for five years, where they will be provided with training and support packages.

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