Cleverly claims channel migrants ‘proactively abusing’ UK hospitality

Suella Braverman announces new Illegal Migration Bill

James Cleverly has claimed that channel migrants are “proactively abusing” UK hospitality. The Foreign Secretary’s comments came after the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill passed through the House of Commons yesterday. Mr Cleverly said that, while the UK has “always been a generous nation”, if people “abuse” that generosity it “erodes trust in the immigration system”.

Earlier this week, Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick claimed that those crossing the channel “tend to have completely different lifestyles and values to those in the UK”.

Asked if he agreed with those comments, the Foreign Secretary told Sky News: “The people from many, many parts of the world who have come into the UK over many, many decades have integrated fully and successfully in British society, we have always been a generous nation.

“But we can also see that there are people who are proactively abusing our hospitality and a national character is very much like a personal character, people are generous of spirit but if we see people abusing that generosity it erodes trust, it erodes trust in the immigration system.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman yesterday echoed Mr Jenrick’s comments, saying people arriving in the UK in small boats have values which are “at odds with our country”.

Tory MP Jonathan Gullis, who is a supporter of the Immigration Bill, said the comments about values were not “appropriate” or “right”.

He told LBC: “I don’t feel comfortable with the mentioning of the values.

“I don’t think that was appropriate nor was it right.”

The Immigration Bill passed through the House of Commons passed by 289 votes to 230.

It will now head to the House of Lords for scrutiny, where it could be amended or delayed.

The Bill will impose a duty on the home secretary to detain and remove people who have entered the UK illegally to a “safe” third country.

Theresa May yesterday warned that the Bill could leave more people in modern slavery.

The Bill removes temporary protections for suspected victims of modern slavery, allowing them to be removed to a third country such as Rwanda.

She said: “Sending victims back to their own country or a third country like Rwanda will simply, at best, make them feel less secure, and therefore less able or willing to give the evidence needed, and at worst will drive them back into the arms of the traffickers and slave drivers.

“The Modern Slavery Act gave hope to victims; this bill removes that hope.

“I genuinely believe that, if enacted as it is currently proposed, this bill will leave more people, more men, women and children, in slavery in the UK.”

Former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith warned of “unintended consequences” in the bill in relation to modern slavery victims.

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