When I speak to people on the doorsteps or when I am out and about in North Cornwall, illegal immigration is one of the top issues people want to talk to me about. It’s my job to take the message back to Westminster that we must do more and that is why we are pressing ahead with the toughest immigration legislation ever to ensure flights take off to Rwanda. Our plan to stop the boats is already working - Illegal crossings to the UK are now down by 36 per cent year on year despite these numbers rising across Europe.
We must stick to our plan to stop the boats to save lives and secure our borders. The opposition in Parliament doesn’t have a plan and would take us back to square one with open borders and uncontrolled immigration. This is not something that people in North Cornwall want. Far from it, people in North Cornwall want fair but strong action to be taken. We have also removed more than 24,000 people from the UK in 2023 and enforced returns have increased by 65 per cent, showing our plan to stop the boats is working.
As part of my government role, it was my job to ensure the Rwanda agreement passed through the House of Commons last week. I understand from listening to my colleagues that there are differences of opinion on how they would like this legislation to be enacted. These conversations needed to happen, and I am pleased that almost all our MPs supported the third reading of the Bill.
Using the legislation that is already in place has allowed many arrests and seizing over 130 boats. In 2023, 86 arrests of small boat pilots and 246 arrests of people smugglers were also made. The National Crime Agency also conducted what is believed to be the biggest-ever international operation targeting networks suspected of using small boats to smuggle thousands to the UK. I am told that with the combined support of all agencies involved, over 26,000 illegal crossings were disrupted.
Since my election in 2015, my office has actioned over 60,000 cases on behalf of North Cornwall residents. If you require my help with anything, including benefits, the NHS, or cost of living support then please get in touch. I also raise constituent concerns and issues with Ministers in Westminster including policy and lobbying, so please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org or 01208 74337. I hold regular advice surgeries across North Cornwall, over the phone and online. If you would like to meet with me this can be arranged via my office. Further information about the work I do on behalf of our community can be found at www.scottmann.org.uk and on social media - www.facebook.com/therightmannforNorthCornwall.