Illegal Migration: Co-operation with France

Home Department – in the House of Commons am ar 26 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Ceidwadwyr, Lichfield

What recent progress he has made with his French counterparts on tackling illegal migration.

Photo of Michael Tomlinson Michael Tomlinson Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)

Joint working with our French partners is crucial to stopping the boats. Thanks in no small part to that joint working, small boat crossings were down by 46% last year.

Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Ceidwadwyr, Lichfield

My spies tell me that my hon. and learned Friend was in France just nine days ago. Were there any lessons to be learned from the French authorities about more co-operation that can go on to stop the boats even further?

Photo of Michael Tomlinson Michael Tomlinson Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)

My hon. Friend is right: I was in France nine days ago. Even while I was there, a boat was seized, but he is right to say that more needs to be done. Personnel, equipment and technology are key to breaking the business model of the criminal gangs. Having met the new Préfet du Nord, I am in no doubt that this is a joint mission.

Photo of Andrew Bridgen Andrew Bridgen Reclaim, North West Leicestershire

Will the Minister update the House on the number of illegal migrants who have crossed the channel and are currently being accommodated in hotels at the expense of the public purse? How does that compare with the number of UK nationals who are currently homeless or sleeping rough?

Photo of Michael Tomlinson Michael Tomlinson Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)

I can confirm that the Government have beaten our target of closing 50 hotels by the end of January, which I am sure the hon. Gentleman will want to welcome.