Whether the UK is in or out of the European Union won’t have an impact on sending migrant boats away, according to Labour’s Diane Abbott. The former Shadow Home Secretary was responding to a claim by Conservative MP Adam Holloway, who told Sky News that he believed that once the UK is out of the EU, the country should be able to effectively return migrants to wherever they departed from. Concern over the migrant crisis has rocketed after a record number of people were intercepted while crossing the English Channel last week.
Ms Abbott told Sky News: “I think some of these Tory MPs are deluding themselves.
“Whether we’re in the EU or not, we will still be subject to the European Convention on Human Rights, and migrant have human rights.
“In terms of sending the Navy in, we don’t need a military solution to a political problem.
“The danger is that if we have naval ships worth millions of pounds trying to turn these rubber dinghies around, you could have an accident and the people in the dinghies could get tipped into the water.”
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She continued: “It’s a political issue, a human rights issue, it’s not a military issue.
“I’ve visited the refugee camp in Calais and I know how desperate the refugees are.
“It’s long been my view that the French could do more to encourage them to claim asylum in France.
“And they should do more to crack down on the people smugglers, who are all around. It’s ruthless, greedy people smugglers who are the issue.”
Labour has accused the Government of “failing to get to grips with the crisis”.
The Commons Home Affairs Committee has now launched an inquiry into the rising number of people crossing the Channel and the actions of the UK and French governments.
Royal Navy chiefs are now considering a formal request for support to help deal with the crisis.
This comes after the Home Secretary suggested that the military branch could be drafted to help push back boats towards France.
However the suggestion has been deemed “very dangerous” and potentially illegal under international law.