The UK government should reform its policies of deterrence towards asylum seekers, says Thom Brooks

Small boat crossings of asylum seekers across the English Channel is a major headache for the government – and reveals a deeper problem it may soon have to acknowledge. 

Until 2018, there were no small boat crossings recorded in the UK. Last year, there were 45,766 making the dangerous journey. This is not something the government can blame Labour for. After all, the Conservatives have been in power for nearly a decade before the first small boat came across. 

The government gets right that illegal human trafficking gangs are the main cause of the crossings. But efforts to bring numbers back down closer to zero have made little progress. 

One part of the UK’s response is to work more closely w...

Thom Brooks
Professor of Law and Government
Durham Law School

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