xi's moments
Home | Europe

Rivals vying to be UK prime minister vow to cut illegal immigration

By EARLE GALE | China Daily | Updated: 2022-07-25 09:45

FILE PHOTO: A combination picture shows British Foreign Secretary and Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain, July 19, 2022, and Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak speaks to the media at an event to launch his campaign to be the next Conservative leader and Prime Minister, in London, Britain, July 12, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

The two politicians left in the race to replace Boris Johnson as the United Kingdom's prime minister have both vowed to reduce the fl ow of illegal migrants entering the country if they get the job.

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, who served under Johnson as foreign secretary and chancellor of the exchequer, have navigated several rounds of voting among Conservative Party lawmakers. Their bids to become leader of both the party and the nation will now be decided by the 160,000 rank-and-file members of the Conservative Party.

Many experts believe migration is a key issue among members of the party and will be a major battleground.

Sunak said in interviews he plans to tighten the definition of asylum and introduce a cap on the number of refugees the country can handle if he becomes leader.

Truss said she will increase the UK's Border Force workforce, from 9,000 to 10,800, if she becomes leader. She also said she will beef up the controversial plan to send some migrants to the African nation of Rwanda for processing.

Their hardline stances come in the wake of around 14,000 migrants being intercepted so far this year trying to illegally cross the English Channel and enter the UK.

Both Truss and Sunak also said they will see if other nations will accept some of the UK's illegal migrants in return for a fee.

Truss told The Mail on Sunday the Rwanda policy, which is being challenged in the courts by human rights groups, should be seen "through to full implementation".

"I'm determined to end the appalling people trafficking we're seeing," she added.

Sunak told the BBC he also plans to do "whatever it takes" to ensure the policy works.

He said nations that fail to cooperate with the UK by accepting the return of deported illegal migrants could get less aid as a result.

"Right now, the system is chaotic, with law-abiding citizens seeing boats full of illegal immigrants coming from the safe country of France with our sailors and coastguards seemingly powerless to stop them," he said.

He told The Sunday Telegraph newspaper he plans to "inject a healthy dose of common sense into the (asylum) system".

Sunak said he would also like to beef up the ability of law enforcement services to detain, tag, and monitor people intercepted trying to illegally enter the country.

Sky News noted the pair's support for the Rwanda policy comes in spite of opposition from the European Court of Human Rights and the British Parliament's own home affairs committee, which said there is "no clear evidence "it will work.

Ordinary members of the Conservative Party will start receiving postal ballots this week and the winner of the leadership vote will be announced on Sept 5.

So far, Sunak, whose resignation from Johnson's government triggered the prime minister's own resignaiton, has led leadership votes among Conservative Party lawmakers. But Truss is thought to be popular among grassroots party members.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349