Rishi Sunak said his earlier pledge to create an annual cap on the number of refugees accepted into the UK is not his priority as he is focused on tackling illegal migration.
In his unsuccessful campaign for the Tory leadership over the summer, he vowed to give Parliament control over who comes to Britain by introducing such a limit, arguing that the country could only take a limited number of legal asylum seekers.
When asked if that was still his intention, the prime minister told reporters traveling with him to Indonesia for the G20 summit: “I think the first thing we have to do is make sure we can prevent that many people come here illegally.
“Such a conversation can only take place after we have taken all necessary steps to properly control our borders so that not many people come here illegally.
“And that’s the priority, that’s the focus.
“And of course, once we’ve done that, we can talk about how many people we can safely and sustainably provide sanctuary and sanctuary.”
The recent deal with France to deal with the migrant crisis is a testament to its efforts to “get a grip on illegal migration,” Mr Sunak said.
I think the most pressing priority that we and the British people have is tackling illegal migration and small boatsRishi Sunak
The agreement was signed on Monday as the number of people who have made the dangerous journey across the Channel in small boats so far this year surpassed 40,000.
Mr Sunak said: “I want to reduce migration over time.
“But I think the most pressing priority that we and the British have is tackling illegal migration and small boats, and that’s what I spend most of my time on.”
Mr Sunak dismissed Labor’s idea of introducing ID cards to count the number of people in Britain and reduce irregular immigration.
“I don’t think that’s the right way to solve this problem,” he said.
He noted that there are other ways to verify people’s identities and “we’ve increased the penalties on the enforcement side.”
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/annual-cap-on-number-of-refugees-not-a-priority-rishi-sunak-says-42144393.html Annual cap on number of refugees not a priority, Rishi Sunak says