Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been questioned by the Commons Home Affairs Committee on Manston migrant processing centre and asylum seeker routes into UK.

A meeting was held a day prior to the first anniversary of the deaths of 32 people, which included a pregnant woman, who died after their dinghy sank in the Channel.

In an exchange between Tim Loughton, a Conservative member of the committee and Home Secretary Suella Braverman, over asylum applications and routes he suggested, “let us do a bit of roleplay.

“I am a 16-year-old orphan from an East African country escaping a war zone and religious persecution and I have a sibling legally in the United Kingdom at the moment. What is the safe and legal route for me to come to the United Kingdom?”

Ms Braverman replied: “Well, we have an asylum system and people can put in applications for asylum.”

“How would I do that?” asked Mr Loughton.

“You can do it through the safe and legal routes that we have,” replied the Home Secretary.

Mr Loughton responded that he was neither Syrian nor Afghan and not Ukrainian and asked: “What scheme is open to me?”

Ms Braverman replied: “Well, if you are able to get to the UK, you are able to put in an application for asylum.”

Mr Loughton asked: “I would only enter the UK illegally then, wouldn’t I? How could I arrive in the UK if I did not have permission to get onto an aircraft to arrive legally?”

Ms Braverman appeared to struggle answering the question and asked Home Office officials to step in and respond further to which the permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft added: “Depending on which country you are from, you could engage with UNHCR and that would be a way of getting leave to enter the UK in order to put in that asylum claim. But I accept that there are some countries where that would not be possible.”

Mr Loughton responded saying: “I think the point is that there is a shortage of safe and legal routes, other than for specific groups of people, that we have generously offered safe haven to.”

By Ed

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