The Prime Minister has reportedly given Home Secretary Priti Patel the go-ahead to develop new powers that would allow male asylum seekers crossing the Narrow Sea to be held in immigration removal centres.
Though the Home Office has not published a breakdown of Channel migrants by age or gender, Miss Patel claims that seven in ten of all people who cross the Narrow Sea are single men under 40.
Mr Johnson’s new gung-ho attitude to border security is part of a series of populist policies which are intended to shore up his tottering premiership as the embattled Tory leader faces calls to quit over the ‘Partygate’ lockdown scandal enveloping Westminster.
Miss Patel is working closely with Attorney-General Suella Braverman to establish what current laws would allow on detention and what new powers would be needed to be approved by MPs, according to The Times.
Currently only migrants who land on the UK coast are breaking the law and can be detained, rather than those intercepted in the Channel.
A government official who was in a ministerial meeting to discuss the plans told the paper: ‘They’re (ministers) convinced this is the way to create a deterrent.
‘Their thinking is “you make it worse and worse, more draconian and it’ll stop people coming”. They’re absolutely convinced that tough deterrents are the way to fix it.’
child is carried by his father as migrant men, women and children are assisted by immigration officers after arriving at Dungeness in an inflatable dinghy from France on January 18, 2022
Border Force officials bring migrants ashore at Dover Harbour after arriving in Speedwell
The Prime Minister has reportedly given Home Secretary Priti Patel the go-ahead to develop new powers that would allow male asylum seekers crossing the Narrow Sea to be held in immigration removal centres
Ministers were accused of ‘cowardice’ after plans emerged to conceal the number of migrants arriving each day.
The Home Office currently issues the data after arrivals have been processed by the UK Border Force, typically on the following day, but this could stop when the Ministry of Defence (MoD) takes over operations to intercept migrants, it has emerged.
Instead, a running total will be published just four times a year.
It comes after the statistics watchdog raised concerns about the daily totals currently issued by the Government.
The Home Office is now set to release the figures every three months, but the move has drawn criticism from Tory MPs - with one saying it 'seems more like burying bad news than being transparent about crossings.
Another anonymous Conservative said: 'It just looks like covering up, and no doubt journalists will come up with their own figures based on people arriving at Tughaven [the migrant processing centre in Dover] and Freedom of Information requests.'
An announcement is due next month as part of wider plans for the Royal Navy to takeover operational control of Channel crossings.
These plans would be accompanied with powers to remove Channel migrants from the UK, including proposals to ‘outsource’ asylum claims to third countries.
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘The British public have had enough of seeing people die in the Channel while ruthless criminal gangs profit from their misery and our New Plan for Immigration will fix the broken system which encourages migrants to make this lethal journey.’
UK authorities have intercepted more than 800 migrants so far this year