UK Border Force officials threaten strike over plans to turn around | United Kingdom | News

The Home Office is facing legal action over its proposals to turn small boats into the sea in a tactic campaigners say could put lives at risk. Figures compiled by the PA news agency show 28,300 people crossed the Strait of Dover in small boats in 2021, three times the number recorded in 2020.

The Syndicat des services publics et commercials (PCS) – whose members include around 80% of the border force officials who would be responsible for implementing the “refoulements” – and the charity Care4Calais have filed for judicial review of the Politics.

They intend to challenge the legality of the redirection of boats out of UK waters and into France.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka told the Palestinian Authority: “The legality of the pushback policy is in serious question, and it is right for the court to decide whether it is illegal to push back the boats of the Handle.

“We cannot have a situation where our members could be open to possible civil and criminal liability for implementing a policy that they do not agree with and know is not safe. .

“While we hope for a positive outcome of the legal proceedings, there is no doubt that the PCS strongly opposes this policy, on moral and humanitarian grounds, and we will not rule out industrial action to prevent it from happening. be conducted.”

Pushbacks are the forced turning of boats carrying refugees to prevent them from reaching a country’s border.

The government is considering a number of options to tackle the problem of migrant Channel crossings and has invited businesses to a meeting linked to a non-disclosure agreement in the hope of hearing “innovative ideas”.

Ms Patel has brought in scientific advisers as the Home Office explores the use of X-rays and other medical checks on asylum seekers in a bid to stop what the Home Secretary described as grown men “posing as children” on the requests.


Clare Moseley, founder of refugee charity Care4Calais, said the proposed policy does not prioritize the UK’s obligation under national and international law to save lives at sea.

She added: “It is for good reason that this duty is a cornerstone of international maritime law. If eroded, I fear it will allow the UK to devalue lives at sea.

“It risks opening the doors to the horrific scenes we see in the Mediterranean.”

A Home Office spokesman told the PA news agency: ‘As part of our ongoing operational response and to prevent further loss of life at sea, we are continuing to test a range of safe and legal options to prevent small boats from making this dangerous and unnecessary journey.

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“These are all compliant and delivered in accordance with national and international law.

“Our new plan for immigration will also overhaul the broken asylum system and reduce many of the historic pull factors.”

The Home Office continues to explore options in its bid to halt the crossings of thousands of people from France on small boats.

Despite the Home Secretary’s pledge to make crossings an ‘infrequent phenomenon’ by spring last year, more than 36,000 people have managed to reach British shores in the past two years.

Care4Calais reports that pushbacks have led to deaths in other countries and the charity does not want the measure to turn the English Channel into a graveyard.

He warns pushbacks at sea will lead to more deaths in the English Channel where 27 people lost their lives in November.

MP for Dover Natalie Elphicke, writing for the conservative website Home, describes ‘a booming international criminal trade’ in Channel crossings with ‘ever increasing numbers of illegal craft entering day by day’.

She calls for the end of crossings in small boats and the prevention of smugglers risking other deaths in the Channel.

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