British interior minister Priti Patel accused migrants crossing the Channel on boats of “shopping around” to claim asylum, as she vowed Sunday to overhaul the UK’s response to the arrivals.
Delivering the keynote address on the second day of the ruling Conservatives’ annual party conference, Patel pledged to introduce legislation next year “to fix this broken system”.
In a speech short on policy details, she said asylum-seekers travelling through Europe before reaching Britain on small vessels showed the current system was “neither firm nor fair”.
“Shopping around for where they claim asylum. Making that final and extremely dangerous Channel crossing to the United Kingdom, while lining the pockets of despicable international criminal gangs,” Patel said.
“Our broken system is enabling this international criminal trade.”
Britain is grappling with how to deal with a recent surge in irregular migration across the Channel, with recent reports of possible solutions under consideration also