Alastair Campbell has blamed Brexit for the “big rise in numbers” of migrants attempting to cross the English Channel to claim asylum. In a series of messages on Twitter, the former Downing Street director of communications said the coverage of the new Illegal Migration Bill failed to use the “B-word”, accusing the Government of “trashing the house and expecting thanks for clearing up the kitchen”. It comes as an Iranian refugee said he did not believe the new legislation would “deter” asylum seekers from crossing, rather it would “traumatise” them.
In a statement on Twitter, Mr Campbell wrote: “There is one gaping hole in the coverage of the Channel crossings issue and the government’s desperate attempts to turn it into a polarising issue. And that is the B-word.
“The reason for the big rise in numbers is that we left the EU without a replacement returns policy.
So as with Northern Ireland, Sunak will head to Paris today and ask us to applaud his trying to fix a problem which the Brexit he believes in has caused and which is costing huge sums of money and going to cost us much more.
“It’s another case of the kids trashing the house and expecting thanks for clearing up the kitchen.
“The elephant is crapping all over the room yet again.”
After Mr Campbell’s tweets, Mr Sunak announced that Britain will pay France nearly half a billion pounds over the next three years to step up efforts to prevent small boats from crossing the Channel.
The Prime Minister praised the “unprecedented” £478 million (541 million euro) package to fund a new detention centre in France and hundreds of extra law enforcement officers on French shores.
Mr Sunak announced the package after holding talks with Emmanuel Macron during a UK-France summit at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Friday.
But the French President told Mr Sunak the migration returns agreement that he covets under his pledge to “stop the boats” would have to be negotiated with the European Union rather than Paris.
READ MORE: Sunak’s small boats plan to fail as French patrol ‘unfit for purpose’ [INSIGHT]
The major new package is in addition to the more than £300 million the UK has committed to France in the last decade to help tackle unauthorised migration.
It is the first time the UK will contribute to building a detention centre in France to help deal with the numbers of people being trafficked.
It is understood the centre, which is expected to be located in Dunkirk, will be run by French officials with the UK contributing some £27 million (30 million euros) over three years.
People detained at the site are to be returned to their home country if safe, or if not, the last country they transited through.
France is expected to spend around five times what the UK will under the overall new agreement, it is understood.
DON’T MISS: UK to send almost half a billion pounds to France in new migrant deal [REPORT]
France stops only HALF of migrant crossings despite UK paying huge sum [REVEAL]
Sunak declares he will ‘throw everything’ at solving migrant crisis [REPORT]
Meanwhile, refugees including an Iranian who arrived in the UK by boat have said detaining asylum seekers will “traumatise” and not deter them, describing the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill as “cruel and abhorrent”.
The controversial proposals to curb Channel crossings would see refugees arriving by boats detained, removed and banned for life from claiming asylum in the UK.
Farzad, who did not wish to share his second name, arrived in the UK by boat in 2019 after fleeing Iran due to persecution he faced for religious reasons and said he does not think the Bill will act as a deterrent.
“(Detaining asylum seekers) will traumatise them more and make them more vulnerable,” Farzad said in a statement shared via the Refugee Council. “When people are running, they are more concerned with what they are running from, not what they are running to.”
“They don’t sit down and calculate… they are mostly worried about their life in their home country, and that’s why they are basically leaving their lives and coming here.”