The Home Office has launched an attack on what it calls “activist lawyers” who it says are frustrating efforts to send migrants back to France.
It cited “vexatious” claims that are hindering its attempts to remove migrants from the UK, but refused to say how many remained in the country.
Priti Patel’s office also hit out at “inflexible and rigid” asylum regulations that it says are “not fit for purpose”.
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The row comes after a record 202 migrants reached the UK by crossing the Channel on Thursday, with more believed to have made the perilous journey yesterday.
The Home Office criticised the Dublin Regulation, which determines which EU member state is responsible for examining an asylum application.
It said it was “not fit for purpose” and said the UK will no longer be bound by EU laws and can negotiate its own returns agreement at the end of this year.
The department also hit out at what it called “activist lawyers” on Friday evening, who it said put in “vexatious” claims to frustrate the process of removing migrants from the UK.
Yesterday the Home Office laid out its position, saying:
- We are currently bound by the Dublin Regulations when it comes to returns, which is not fit for purpose.
- It is inflexible and rigid and is abused by both migrants and activist lawyers to frustrate the returns of those who have no right to be here.
- But at the end of this year, we will no longer be bound by EU laws and can negotiate our own returns agreement.
- We will also continue to go after the criminals who facilitate these crossings, and are setting up a joint intelligence cell with France. This year, 22 people smugglers have been jailed and earlier this week our investigations resulted in 11 more arrests.