Sunday shows: Patel “comprehensively failing” on refugee crisis, Labour says

Elliot Chappell

Trevor Phillips on Sunday

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds told viewers that Priti Patel is “comprehensively failing” to prevent people from attempting the dangerous English Channel crossing, and that Tory asylum policy is “not helpful to the taxpayer”.

  • On people attempting to cross the English Channel, the Shadow Home Secretary told viewers that Priti Patel’s “incompetence on this issue is dangerous”.
  • Asked whether Priti Patel is being “too soft” on refugees: “No, the point I am making is that the Home Secretary is comprehensively failing in this policy area and it appears the Prime Minister agrees because he seems to be putting the minister for the Cabinet Office in charge of review.”
  • On France: “We need first of all to have a workable deal with the French authorities… We need to as well be looking at what is happening away from the coast, disrupting these vile people smugglers on the routes that they facilitate. People do not become refugees in northern France.”
  • On the Dubs scheme: “The government should reintroduce the Dubs scheme, which is a safe route for unaccompanied children. 3,000 unaccompanied children it was meant to help – closed after 480.”
  • On international aid: “The government should reinstate the international aid budget, the 0.7% and the Department for International Development which tackled why people become displaced from their homes in the first place.”
  • Asked what his objective is: “My objective is to stop people risking their lives in the English Channel in the first place. One person risking their life in the English Channel is one too many.”
  • Put to him that he wants to “stop people coming here”: “No, hang on, no – that’s not what quite what I’m saying at all. I’ve already mentioned the issue of safe routes and I’ve already said that would be a fundamental part of what I would be doing as Home Secretary.”
  • He added: “But what I’m also saying is that we have to prevent people risking their lives in the English Channel, because that is what is happening on a virtually daily basis at the moment, and Priti Patel is comprehensively failing.”
  • On the asylum system: “The government made a catastrophic blunder in taking away the six months performance target in our asylum system and what we’re left with now is a situation in our asylum system where claims are taking in some cases many years. It’s not helpful to anyone in our asylum system, it is not helpful to the taxpayer and it is a failure of this Conservative government.”

Sajid Javid discussed his review into racial bias in medical equipment, saying the problem is a “global” issue, adding: “It is a systemic issue potentially with medical devices, and it may go even further than that with medical textbooks for example.”

The Andrew Marr Show

Also appearing on The Andrew Marr Show this morning, Nick Thomas-Symonds called for an “effective deal” with the French government to stop Channel crossings with a greater focus on disrupting people-trafficking routes “upstream”.

  • Asked what he would do to “solve” the Channel crossing issue: “I would be firstly getting an effective deal with the French authorities. The issue with Priti Patel is she is more interested in a diplomatic spat than she is in a workable deal.”
  • On the deal with the French: “The deal as we have it focuses on the coast, it focuses on patrols – now, I’m not saying that isn’t important, it is, but we also need in that deal to be looking upstream, to be looking away from the coast, to disrupt these vile people smugglers on the long routes.”
  • He added: “Secondly, I would be looking at the Dubs scheme… I would be reinstating that safe and legal route. And, thirdly, we would be reinstating the 0.7% international aid target and the Department for International Development.”
  • Asked what he would say to the French: “What I would be offering them that this government isn’t is not simply shouting at the French government about failure to act on the coast. What I would be saying is that there is a shared issue here that needs to be joint with more joint enforcement operations away from the coast.”
  • Asked whether Labour would renegotiate the UK back into the Dublin III scheme, an EU programme that returns people to the first safe country that they arrive in: “Yes, I would be doing that as Home Secretary.”
  • Put to him that the price of being part of this scheme would be free movement: “No, firstly the next Labour government will not be reintroducing free movement – but a successor to the Dublin III scheme does not mean that… We’re talking about a successor to it, which the government says it wants to negotiate with various countries. The point is, it’s failed to conduct those negotiations.”
  • On plans to send people to third-party countries, such as the reports concerning Albania, for processing: “I’m against it because I think it’s an unconscionable proposal if you look at where it’s been used around the world.”
  • On Patel’s claim that talks with Albania are ongoing: “The Albanian government said it is fake news. So, what on earth is going on when you have the Home Secretary claiming talks are taking place that another government says is not?”

Sajid Javid discussed the review into racial bias in medical equipment. Asked whether people have died of coronavirus because of the bias in medical devices, the Health Secretary said: “I think possibly, yes.”

“These oximeters are being used in every country and they have the same problem. And the reason is that a lot of these medical devices, or even some of the drugs, the procedures, the textbooks, most of them are put together in majority white countries,” he said.

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