Priti Patel – 2020 Comments on Channel Crossings

The text of the comments made by Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, on 12 July 2020.

I have been in France today seeing first-hand the significant work undertaken on that side of the Channel to address the unacceptably high levels of small boats, alongside the efforts of Border Force and the National Crime Agency in the UK.

But despite all of the action taken by law enforcement to date – intercepting the boats, making arrests, returning people back to France and putting the criminals responsible behind bars – the numbers continue to increase.

This simply cannot be allowed to go on. Today, I have signed an agreement with the French to create a joint intelligence cell which will crack down on the gangs behind this vile people-smuggling operation and impressed on my French counterpart the need to stop these illegal crossings for the benefit of both our countries. This is the start of a new operational approach with the newly appointed French Interior Minister.