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'They're coming from France!' Ash Sarkar slapped down over attack on UK migrant policy

News'They're coming from France!' Ash Sarkar slapped down over attack on UK migrant policy

A Conservative minister clashed with left-wing commentator Ash Sarkar over the Illegal Migration Bill on BBC Question Time tonight.

Helen Whately defended the Government’s plans to stop small boats crossing the Channel as she appeared on the panel of the show in Bexhill-on-Sea.

The care minister said: “Ash you talked about the dangers for people in the countries they’re fleeing from.

“You have to remember most people coming here in small boats are coming from France.

“I don’t know about you but I have been to the camp in Calais and spoken to people who are planning to come here about why they are coming here and why weren’t they for instance applying for asylum in France.

READ MORE: Nick Ferrari erupts on BBC QT as he brands Welby ‘wrong’ over migration bill

“Some of them didn’t want to because they didn’t reckon they would get asylum, some just really wanted to get to the UK.

“But they are coming from a safe country and if they have a claim for asylum they could make that claim there.”

Ms Sarkar responded: “On the issue of why don’t they stay in France, well actually most asylum seekers do stay in other countries.

“The ones that want to come here very often it’s because they’ve got family or friends here, very often it’s because they already speak the language.

“If your point is refugees should always stay in their first safe country we’d never take anyone because we’re an island.”

Ms Sarkar went on to urge the Government to establish safe and legal routes for asylum seekers.

Ms Whately replied: “We have to on the one hand have safe routes here, but we can’t keep going with the status quo.

“It is a relatively recent phenomenon people coming here in small boats. It’s a new business model that has been developed.”

Miss Sarkar said: “Because you cut off the safe legal routes, that’s a fact.”

Ms Whately responded: “We haven’t cut off the safe legal routes.”

The left-wing commentator asked: “How’s someone from Eritrea supposed to get here?”

The Tory minister said: “Almost half a million people have had the opportunity to come here for asylum in the last few years. That’s not cutting off the safe legal routes.”

Host Fiona Bruce then cut in to end the clash between the pair and move the programme on.

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