Immigrants arriving illegally will no longer get entitlements - Patel

Wednesday, March 24

The British Home Secretary Priti Patel (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

British Home Secretary Priti Patel has said: "If people arrive illegally, they will no longer have the same entitlements as those who arrive legally, and it will be harder for them to stay".

Ms Patel, who is due to set out details of her ‘New Plan for Immigration’ on Wednesday, described the plan as "the biggest overhaul of the UK's asylum system in decades".

Speaking this morning on Britain's LBC Radio, the Home Secretary said that in recent years more than half of all disputed cases over migrants’ ages were adults “presenting as young children”.

“We do know for a fact that when age has been disputed between 2016 and 2020, 54 per cent of the cases were discovered to be adults presenting as young children”.

She said the UK is “one of the few countries” that does not use scientific age assessment “to assess and determine a person’s age when they enter our country”.

Describing her plan as “end to end reform”, she added: “We need to change our posture as a country and say no to illegal migration, no to the people smugglers and no to the criminal gangs.

“We will base that on the need of people who are fleeing persecution and not on arbitrary numbers which has happened in the past and that is a fundamental change that we need to bring in.”

Pressed on whether it would be possible to remove some illegal migrants within 24 hours, as has been proposed, she insisted they would be removed “in a swift and an efficient way”.

“We absolutely need to be firmer around the whole issue of illegal migration,” she said.

She said the Government would be “effectively introducing a one stop shop so that we cannot get repeat claims from individuals who are refusing to leave the country”.

She added: “This change has to happen quite frankly because we've not been able to remove people.

“As we’ve seen since 2013, the number of removals from the United Kingdom have gone down and down and down and that is mainly because our courts are now clogged up with all these various cases that keep coming forward.” 

Newsday and Agencies