Monday 17 January 2022 / 10:00 AM Home Affairs / Yvette Cooper

Yvette Cooper responds to reports on military assistance for Channel crossings

Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, responding to reports of military assistance and offshore processing being used to tackle the Conservatives’ failure on small boat crossings in the Channel, said:

“The Government has failed to do the serious, practical work with France that is needed to stop lives being lost and criminal gangs profiting from dangerous Channel crossings. Instead, this looks like Boris Johnson is using the situation to chase headlines to distract from the total mess he is in as a result of rule breaking parties in Number 10.

“The Government brought the navy in to patrol the Channel three years ago in 2019. HMS Enterprise and HMS Mersey did not intercept a single boat and the cost to the Home Office was £780,000. They need to explain what is different in these latest plans. They’ve announced pushbacks that they’ve now admitted won’t work and keep re-announcing offshore processing even though no other country has agreed to it and it was incredibly costly and damaging when tried in Australia. Time and again they have gone for headlines rather than hard work to tackle this serious issue.

“The Prime Minister should say whether this latest briefing means he has lost confidence in the Home Secretary and the Border Force or whether this is really about the crisis of confidence in him.”