The Homes Office has been criticised for refusing to rule out the ‘pushback’ tactic after 27 people died trying to cross the Channel.
Immigration Minister Kevin Foster appeared not to eliminate the idea of using the ‘pushback’ method for migrants, which would involve them being sent back on their boats after reaching the UK.
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme he said: “What we’ve said is that any maritime tactics would be deployed appropriately, bearing in mind the safety situation, and that would be determined by commanders on the ground.”
The Liberal Democrats home affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael criticised the pushback tactic, stating: “It is disgraceful that the Government is even considering pushing boats back in the Channel after yesterday’s tragic news.
“Priti Patel must immediately rule out these dangerous and cruel pushback tactics which don’t work and could cause yet more unnecessary deaths.
“The Government’s incompetence and failure to get to grips with this crisis has led us to the heartbreaking situation we find ourselves in.
“Instead of yet more unworkable gimmicks, ministers must now focus on providing safe and legal routes to take refugees out of the grip of smugglers and traffickers.”