Parliament heard a stern warning that the Government is not ready to meet the challenges of dealing with immigration post Brexit today.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s deputy Brandon Lewis MP was fielding Home Office questions in parliament and insisted: “We are confident that a positive deal can be reached, but we are of course preparing for every outcome. While we cannot comment on the detailed planning, government departments are working together across a range of complex issues to develop our future approach to the border including for a possible no-deal scenario.”
Labour MP Ben Bradshaw hit back: “His own former immigration director David Woods said last week that with current resources the challenge of Brexit – and I quote: ‘can’t be met ‘. – And that’s with the minimum two year transition, let alone the chaos of a no-deal scenario.
“ – So given all the other other demands on his budget that we have heard about today is it not grossly irresponsible for some of his cabinet colleagues to be running around talking up the prospects of a no deal instead of being level with the public.”
Last week Kent council leaders warned Brexit minister David Davis that bringing back controls to the UK if the issue isn’t dealt with properly in a Brexit deal risks putting immense pressure on coastal local authorities to deal with the immigration issues that Calais now struggles with.
“The alternative,” council leaders wrote, “- repatriating the incoming borders to the UK in less than two years’ time – would require significant investment in the land and infrastructure required to carry out checks on UK soil.
“Moving controls to the UK also has potential to increase the number of illegal migrants and asylum seekers arriving if the checks in France are removed or scaled back.
“This would increase the pressure on local authorities nationally – and the Home Office itself – by raising the demand for asylum dispersal places.”
Dover and Shepway councils also wrote warning of “lengthy queues” and a “substantial increase in port health responsibilities if the inspection of foods from the EU is required post-Brexit,” as the areas and staff to stop the freight in and out of Europe do not exist.
WATCH Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw’s warning: