Tatton MP Esther McVey has urged the Prime Minister to set out the timetable for when legislation will be introduced to stop illegal immigrants crossing the Channel.
Speaking in Prime Minister’s Question time Ms McVey called for action to halt the surge in numbers.
She said: “The Prime Minister has made fixing illegal immigration across the channel one of his top priorities and he has also said legislation will be required to stop it, and I completely agree.
“Can he tell us when we can expect to see this legislation coming forward as time is of the essence.”
In his first major speech of 2023, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak twice pledged to "stop the boats" as he outlined his five key promises to the public. He said legislation will be introduced to curb the surge in migrants crossing the Channel but as yet no timetable for MPs to vote on the change has been announced.
Replying to Ms McVey he said: “She is right illegal crossings put people’s lives at risk. It diverts resources away from those in genuine need and it is unfair on those who migrate here legally.
“That is why one of our five pledges to the British people is to stop the boats. We are working at pace at the legislation, it is important that it works and in the meantime our deals with Albania and France are already yielding benefits. What I can tell her is that we want a system whereby if someone arrives in our country illegally they will not be able to stay, instead they will be detained and removed to a country they come from or a safer alternative. That is the system that the Home Secretary and I are working hard to put in place and that is what our legislation will deliver.”
During the exchange Ms McVey also questioned why the top civil servant at the Home Office did not include tackling illegal immigration as one of his stated top three priorities for the department.