Transport Secretary Grant Shapps hit out at Sky News host Sally Lockwood for suggesting that the migrant crisis in the Channel was linked to Brexit. Ms Lockwood appeared to blame Britain’s departure from the EU for the crisis after the deaths of 27 people in the Channel earlier this week. Mr Shapps claimed it was “a red herring to mix this up with Brexit and it is not an argument I have heard before”.
Ms Lockwood said: “The PM wrote to President Macron suggesting some sort of return arrangement.
“We had one of those when we were a member of the EU. We don’t anymore. Why wasn’t that negotiated along with Brexit when we left?”
The Transport Secretary responded: “It’s not quite clear that with the old arrangement, it would have stopped what’s happening now.
“People were coming across when we were in the EU. They were just coming across by lorries.
“What has changed is that people are now using this incredibly perilous route of the North Sea, which is unbelievably dangerous and run by criminal gangs.”
Ms Lockwood continued: “Your Government won the last election on a ticket around Brexit and taking back control. But the truth is we are now negotiating from a position from weakness.”
Mr Shapps explained: “I think it’s a red herring to mix this up with Brexit. It’s not an argument I’ve heard before. Plenty of people attempted the crossing before.
“I think the Europe argument is confusing here. It’s not related to that.
“It is international law that governs these things, not European law. France is a free and safe country and that is where the asylum should be claimed, if not before France.”
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