James announces measures to strengthen maritime borders

James Brokenshire, in his role as Immigration Minister, has announced new powers to help target people smugglers and those attempting to gain illegal entry to the UK along with details of greater investment in the UK’s maritime patrol capabilities.

The new powers, part of the Government’s wide-ranging Immigration Act 2016, target those attempting to assist unlawful immigration, to assist the arrival of asylum seekers and to assist entry to the UK in breach of a deportation or exclusion order.

Alongside these enhanced powers for immigration officials, the Government has announced the launch of new patrol vessels based at three new operational hubs in Cornwall, the Thames Estuary and the Humber, designed to patrol UK territorial waters and further secure our sea borders. The first batch will be in place in the coming months, with all of the vessels operational by the end of next year. The vessels will add to the protection already offered by the Border Force cutters and Royal Navy vessels which patrol the UK coastline.

Commenting, James said:

“These new powers and infrastructure investments will complement the work the Government is engaged in with the Dutch and Belgian Governments to strengthen border security by preventing those who have no right to be here from coming to the UK and strengthening our arm against people smugglers.”