My statement on new plan to tackle illegal immigration
I welcome the measures the Prime Minister unveiled today to tackle illegal immigration.
Until we swiftly remove them, people will continue to come here illegally, and the criminal trade will thrive.
It's unfair on genuine asylum seekers, legal immigrants and UK taxpayers to let this continue.
Albania is a safe and prosperous European country. We shouldn't accept asylum claims from those who travel to the UK illegally from there.
Unbelievably, we accept 55% of Albanian claims at present. But, France, Germany and Sweden reject 100% of their claims. We should do the same.
The new deal agreed with Albania, who make up a third of all those arriving in small boats this year, will swiftly remove them and deter more from travelling here illegally.
And the new deal with France will increase the number of police officers on patrol on French beaches to help stop illegal small boat crossings.
I'm pleased that migrants will be moved out of hotels and into less expensive accommodation, such as disused student halls and military bases, saving taxpayers' money.
We must also tackle the asylum seeker backlog.
Migrants travel here illegally because they don't think we'll remove them.
Shamefully, they're very often right. Our broken system lets them stay.
With double the number of asylum caseworkers and a streamlined process, we can show that the UK is closed to illegal immigrants.
But we must also reform our law so illegal migrants can't exploit our generosity and activist lawyers can't undermine our border security.
I am pleased the Prime Minister has committed to bringing new legislation forward early next year to make unambiguously clear that if you enter the UK illegally, you can't stay.