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Migrant crisis: Hoey hits back over migrant tragedy over Sky News probe | Politics | News

Kate Hoey raged at Priti Patel and the British Government’s inability to tackle migrant crossings as she reacted to the tragic death of 27 people attempting to get into the UK by sailing through the Channel on Wednesday. Ms Hoey was challenged on whether the policy Britain has been pursuing is conducive to the country “taking back control” of the borders as Boris Johnson pledged with Brexit. The Sky News host Sally Lockwood asked: “Baroness Hoey you were a vocal supporter of Brexit.

“We now have a Conservative Government who won the last general election very much on the issue of taking back control.

“Is this what taking back control looks like?”

The peer said: “Well, of course, we have not taken back control of our border at Dover.

“It does seem absolutely amazing that over the past year or so, we haven’t been able to stop this in a way that is sensitive to the needs of some of these poor people who are coming because they are leaving sometimes very difficult situations.

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“But when I was down there, what we did see was the vast majority of them are young men aged 18 to 25, they are not necessarily fleeing from tyranny or torture.

“They are coming because they want a better life – that we can understand but we can’t just have an open border for people to come.”

She added: “We have to get control of our border back.

“One of the crucial things about leaving the European Union was that we would be able to make our own decisions and that’s now what I think we should concentrate on.”

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Immigration minister Kevin Foster said the UK had supplied a helicopter during Wednesday’s search for survivors in the Channel and that the UK was prepared to send people to France to help deal with the current influx.

Asked how the UK’s approach was likely to change after at least 27 people died when their small boat capsized off the French coast, Mr Foster said: “The first thing, is working with France.

“We have offered resources, we are happy to support their operations on the beach.

“We have already agreed £54 million, we’re happy to look at doing more.

“We’re also prepared to offer resources beyond (that) – like yesterday, we deployed a helicopter at their request to help with the search and rescue operation, so we’re not just offering cash. It is in no-one’s interest for this to continue.”

Mr Foster added: “We’re prepared to offer support on the ground, we’re prepared to offer resources, we’re prepared to offer, literally, people to go there and assist the French authorities.”

The Immigration Minister also confirmed Priti Patel will be speaking to her French counterpart on Thursday morning about the next steps the two countries can take to halt the small boat crossings.

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