Dear Secretary of State,
Here are some innovative ideas which might help you to slow or stop the migrant boat traffic invasion, and so win the next General Election.
- Legislate to enable asylum seekers to make an application for a Conditional Temporary Visa (“CTV”) from their phone while in still France (calls can be located), using a new app requiring registration, photo ID from the phone, original home country data, plus as such other detail as would help the intelligence services track people smugglers, like how they got to Calais, and maybe allow access to call logs.
- If they cooperate, their application will be processed swiftly, within say one month (with help from an algorithm), and a CTV may be granted, requiring entry only via the ferry (saving the migrant the £3-4K boat crossing fee which they could be expected to use to support themselves temporarily – or perhaps the fee for a CTV could be £3k). The CTV would allow them to stay, work and pay tax until further checks are done and a decision is made on a permanent refugee visa. Meanwhile there should be regular reporting to the police. But a permanent visa may be declined and the CTV rescinded if prima facie refugee status is not substantiated, or there is criminal behaviour; and the migrant may then be deported. Restrict grounds for appeal, as we do for traffic offences.
- Legislate that any benefits that are extended to migrants, legal or illegal, (such as: board and lodging, pocket money, healthcare etc) will be made on the basis of a loan, rather like a student loan, repayable over time starting from the date when (and if) the migrant has a job and is earning more than a minimum income.
- Legislate that anyone who enters UK waters without such having a valid CTV on their phone will never be considered for asylum or given permission to stay in the UK; and that they will be prosecuted under section 24 (B1) of the Immigration Act 1971, for entering without a visa. Tell them that this criminal record may make it impossible for the offender ever to travel to certain other countries (e.g. USA). No bail pending court appearance due to flight risk. We may need more prisons and prison staff.
- Employ some of the illegal migrants who are presently housed in hotels to help build and occupy new temporary camps, perhaps on a remote Scottish island, especially if Rwanda doesn’t work.
- Make all these arrangements clear in relevant languages on TikTok etc, to counter the people smugglers’ advertising. Point out the saving of £3-4k payable to the people smugglers, which is better used for their own expenses.
- Seek to negotiate with France to allow the RNLI, which is not a state-owned entity but is a charity, terms on which its lifeboats can enter French waters and ports so as to take migrants safely back to France without this being considered a breach of sovereignty.
- Terminate all legal aid payments to lawyers in respect of work done unsuccessfully for migrants not entering with a CTV, not cooperating, committing offences or resisting deportation.
- And the obvious ones: introduce our own human rights legislation and leave the ECHR, etc…
The author is an independent strategy consultant.
Write to us with your comments to be considered for publication at firstname.lastname@example.org