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Illegal Migration Bill

My response to concerns and questions about the upcoming Illegal Migration Bill


May 2023

Thank you for your email about the Illegal Migration Bill.   


We know that the volume of illegal small boats arriving in the UK has escalated. Travel across the Channel in small boats is life threatening. No one should be encouraged to undertake this perilous journey. We saw the arrival of 45,775 migrants by the end of 2022 – an increase of 60% from 2021.  


The new Migration Bill intends for those entering this country illegally, to be swiftly removed back to their home country if it is safe, or to a safe third country such as Rwanda.  


The hope is certain knowledge of swift removal from the UK will encourage all to use the safe and legal routes available as it has done for Syria, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Ukraine. 


I have signed a number of amendments that arose at the Committee Stage of the bill which intended to set out the safe and legal routes that are available to adults and unaccompanied children.


These amendments seek also to establish provisions for refugees in genuine need, including unaccompanied children and separated families.


The bill is currently in the Report Stage. I will monitor its progress closely.


The Government wants to be fair to migrants but also tough in tackling illegal migration


Tackling People Smuggling


Since 2015, the UK has offered safety to nearly 480,000 people from all over the world.  


The business model of people-smuggling networks must cease in the interest of the safety of refugees; it will ultimately save lives.  


Also welcome is the news that the UK will be providing France with £500 million in funding over the next three years, to prevent people crossing the Channel illegally.  


The funding will provide an extra 500 officers who will patrol French beaches and a new detention centre in Northern France.  


A new command centre will also be established which will bring UK and French enforcement teams together in one place for the first time.  


These measures will be underpinned by sophisticated surveillance technologies including drones which will help to ramp up the interception rate and save lives.  

Thank you for getting in touch about this important subject.

Sir Peter Bottomley MP

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