British government withdraws plans to push immigrant ships back in the English Channel

The British government has abandoned plans to return small immigrant boats to the French side of the English Channel prior to the judicial review of the policy.

The campaign group, which challenged the tactics, said on Monday that the government’s legal department had informed that the policy had been withdrawn by the Interior Ministry.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and Care4Calais, along with Channel Rescue and Freedom from Torture, said a three-day hearing on tactical challenges was previously scheduled for May 3, adding: “

The PCS said a letter from the Government Legal Department stated that policies and procedures had been withdrawn and that the Pentagon’s co-commander, who took over the operation of the channel, was not authorized to use turnaround tactics. Stated.

“We also said that if a decision was made to use turnaround tactics in the future, it would only be done after careful consideration of all relevant matters,” PCS said.

PCS General Secretary Mark Selwotka called the withdrawal a “humiliating downhill by the government” and a “superb victory for Home Office workers and refugees.”

“There is no doubt that lives have been saved. Pushback operations are extremely dangerous and pose an obvious risk to life and limbs. We allow members to be placed in this terrifying position. I wasn’t ready to do it, “said Selwotoka.

“PCS reiterates our call for the government to abandon its dangerous and reckless approach to asylum and migrants, and humanitarian to enable safe passage and protect both our members and refugees. To negotiate with us about the process. “

The Home Office confirmed that the policy had been withdrawn and that tactics are no longer in use, but defended the right to consider all options.

“The entire government is working together to prevent these deadly crossings and break the business model of criminal organizations that exploit people,” a spokesman said.

“It is right to consider all the safe and legitimate options to stop these unnecessary journeys, including turning the boat.

“As mentioned earlier, this tactic is fully compliant with both national and international law, but the circumstances under which a boat can be safely returned in the English Channel are very limited.”

So far this year, more than 6,500 people have illegally invaded Britain by crossing the English Channel from Europe in small boats.

In 2021, a total of 28,395 people completed dangerous journeys, compared to 8,417 in 2020.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an action plan to tackle illegal immigrants on April 14, with about seven out of ten people arriving on small boats last year being young men, and asylum seekers “could claim asylum.” , And should have done so. ” In the “obviously safe country” they passed through.

On the same day, the government announced a New Deal policy with Rwanda. This will allow illegal immigrants to be transferred to African countries for processing.

Lily Chow


Lily Zhou is a freelance writer who mainly covers the British news of The Epoch Times.