New Clause 49 - Disclosure of international agreements for prevention of unlawful border crossings

Part of Nationality and Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:00 pm ar 4 Tachwedd 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jonathan Gullis Jonathan Gullis Ceidwadwyr, Stoke-on-Trent North 4:00, 4 Tachwedd 2021

I reiterate that, having gone down to Dover to meet the Kent intake unit in Dover docks, having met in the joint control room with deputy director Dave Butler of the clandestine threat command, and having been to Tug Haven and western Jetfoil on a cross-party parliamentary visit, it was fantastic to learn and understand. I share concerns expressed by the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate about the use of this money by the French, and I have been quite open in my view that the French are simply not doing enough, but it was great to hear from Dave and others in the control room that what the French are doing inland is quite substantive. Dave was very happy to share the details.

I can only implore the hon. Gentleman, rather than pressing this new clause, to go on down and visit, and have a chat with Dave and the gang down there to hear what is going on in France. They were trying to say to us that the French are operating inland and trying to stop people from coming over to France and travelling through. The local Parisian community, for example, were getting very angry about being a path route towards Calais. That was a fascinating conversation.

That is why the new clause is unnecessary; we saw, after the threat of no payment was made, that suddenly we could not stop being inundated with video footage and photography of what was being done. I thought it was absolutely brilliant. The one thing the French are not doing is their job at sea. They need to step up and support the British Border Force and other British services in stopping boats once they have already launched into the English channel—not just by tracking them, as they currently do, but by tugging them back to France. They are simply not doing their job.

While I absolutely share the hon. Gentleman’s concerns about money, ultimately I believe the Home Secretary has a firm grip of this, and as we are seeing, the results are starting to pay dividends. However, I agree that more can be done, and the Bill goes a long way to achieving that.