Following the Home Secretary’s statement on the Government’s plan to stop the boats and tackle the vile trade in people smuggled across the channel, Shailesh Vara highlights the fact that the people who will be affected by the new proposals are arriving in this country from a safe country, France, and are mostly young men in their 20s and 30s who come here as economic migrants and not asylum seekers.
Some in this House take the view that our proposals are not the way to treat asylum seekers. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the people we are talking about are arriving in this country from a safe country, France, and are mostly young men in their 20s and 30s who come here as economic migrants and not asylum seekers? It is important that that point is recognised.
This country has always been, and remains, incredibly generous to people who are fleeing persecution and seeking safe haven. We will continue to provide that, but it is also right that many people who attempt to come to this country do so to get a better economic life for themselves. As my right hon. Friend the Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox) said, we do not criticise people who seek to come to this country for economic reasons, but we make it clear that there are safe and legal routes for them to do so. This is about breaking the business model of evil people smugglers who prey on the people my right hon. Friend the Member for North West Cambridgeshire (Shailesh Vara) speaks of. We are duty-bound to explore every way of breaking that evil model and that evil trade in human misery to ensure that we protect the people who need protecting by working with countries such as Rwanda that seek to do the right thing on the world stage.