Boris Johnson pledges crackdown on people smugglers as migrant crisis deepens

Boris Johnson has told Star readers he will clamp down on illegal immigration by "breaking the business model" of criminal gangs.

Boris Johnson has vowed to break the business model of criminal gangs trafficking people into Britain
Boris Johnson has vowed to break the business model of criminal gangs trafficking people into Britain

The Prime Minister said people traffickers had been "allowed to get away with it for far too long" and insisted new legislation would help stop them in their tracks.

Speaking exclusively to the Express & Star, he insisted his government would meet its 2019 manifesto pledge to take back control of Britain's borders.

On Wednesday 27 people trying to reach Britain drowned when their boat capsized near Calais, while the total number of migrants crossing the Channel this year has topped 25,000.

The PM has ordered a review into the crisis and last night called on France to "take back" people who cross the Channel to the UK.

Migrants arriving at a beach in Dungeness, Kent, last week. [Photo credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire]

He said: "The gangs have been allowed to get away with it for too long and we will do everything we can to stop them from setting out.

"These are people who are very brave and who are putting their lives at risk, but in the end you have to break the business model of the gangsters.

"Unless we can show that the trade doesn't work, so that when you arrive on the beach in Calais you have to think to yourself 'am I going to be able to make my life in the UK?'

"If you think fundamentally there is a substantial chance that won't happen, and that you are going to be sent somewhere else, that's the only way to turn this around."

Mr Johnson said the Nationality and Borders bill, which is currently going through Parliament, would help to address the problem.

He has set out five steps to address the problem, including stepping up patrols on French beaches and immediate work on a bilateral returns agreement with France.

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