SUPPORTERS of Priti Patel have branded Tory MPs plotting to vote against her plan to stop small boats “on the side of criminals.”
Furious allies of the underfire Home Sec lashed out as record numbers continued to cross the Channel over the weekend.
And they took aim at 66 Tory MPs and Lords who wrote to Boris Johnson today to urge him to allow asylum seekers to work if still waiting for a decision.
The letter was signed by 29 MPs including former justice minister Sir Robert Buckland.
It was organised by ex health minister Lord Bethell, who write : “Amongst our asylum seekers are those who are able to drive HGVs and serve in our NHS and giving them the opportunity to contribute these skills would appear a sensible win-win.”
It’s thought around 20 Tory MPs will vote against the Nationality and Borders Bills which the Home Sec has pinned her hopes of tackling the small boat crisis – by blocking asylum claims for people coming from safe countries like France.
It also gives her the power to process asylum applications ’off-shore.’
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One ally said: “By blocking the passage of the NAB in full, detractors of the Bill are taking the side of criminals in the fight against the vile people trafficking trade”
Another source added: “The British people are fair and generous when it comes to helping those in need.
“But persistent failure to properly enforce our laws and immigration rules, and the reality of a system that is open to gaming and criminal exploitation, risks eroding public support for the asylum system and those that genuinely need access to it.”
Another supporter of the Home Secretary fears that some Tories will side with Labour, derailing the opportunity to “defend our national interest.”
The supporter said: “Families and young children have lost their lives at sea, in lorries and in shipping containers, having put their trust in the hands of criminals.
“The way to stop these deaths is to stop the trade in people that causes them.
“This is not a challenge unique to the UK, but now that we have left the European Union, Global Britain has a responsibility to act and address the problems that have been neglected for too long.
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“Access to the UK’s asylum system should be based on need, not on the ability to pay people smugglers.
“If you illegally enter the UK via a safe country in which you could have claimed asylum, you are not seeking refuge from imminent peril – as is the intended purpose of the asylum system – but are picking the UK as a preferred destination over others.”