Recent figures obtained through freedom of information laws reveal that the UK government spent over £29.7 million on Royal Navy patrols in the English Channel that failed to deter small boat crossings. The government’s Operation Isotrope was intended to act as a deterrent, but crossings increased to record highs during the nine-month period from April last year to the end of January.
Despite claims by ministers that naval patrols would work, Labour’s shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, criticized the spending, stating that the government had spent four years chasing headlines instead of tackling the problem. This has led to an ongoing debate over the effectiveness of the government’s anti-refugee policies.
As part of these policies, Suella Braverman, the home secretary, is making plans to deport migrants to Rwanda by the summer. However, critics have argued that these policies are not only ineffective but also expensive. They argue that the only solution that will end small boat crossings is to give visas for safe travel to people in Calais who have viable asylum claims.
The situation has become increasingly controversial, with some arguing that the UK’s policies are in violation of international refugee law. In light of this, there have been calls for the government to re-evaluate its approach to the issue and to focus on more effective solutions that address the root causes of the problem.
In conclusion, the UK government’s spending on failed Royal Navy patrols in the English Channel and its anti-refugee policies have been criticized as ineffective and expensive. The only long-term solution is to provide visas for safe travel to people in Calais who have viable asylum claims. It remains to be seen whether the government will take this advice on board and change its approach to the issue.