Last week, Priti Patel blamed freedom of movement within the European Union for the number of migrants crossing illegally into the UK from France.
She was also careful to keep the French in her bad books, saying they were simply too under resourced to deal with the problem.
The number of migrants making the perilous journey is stark: 24,500 in the last year -triple the previous numbers. The Home Office has floated plans to send migrants to be processed in Albania. It could cost up to £100,000 per person. But the hope is it will dissuade people from making the journey. The policy takes inspiration from Australia’s off-shore processing.
In 2013, the 20,587 refugees arrived in Australia. After a policy of “pushing back the boats”, only 450 arrived because harsh rules deterred people smugglers. The rationale is that it stops people dying at sea. It won’t stop migrants trying to find a safe haven, but it might make it someone else’s problem.