How will Britain's plan tackle illegal migration?

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STORY: The British government has set out plans for a new law barring entry to asylum seekers in small boats.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said that preventing boat arrivals is one of his five key leadership priorities.

But what does the move mean in practice?

Last year, more than 45,000 migrants arrived on the south coast of England, with around 90% applying for asylum.

This new legislation would mean that anyone who arrives this way will be prevented from claiming asylum.

Here's Britain's Interior Minister, Suella Braverman.

“They will not stop coming here until the world knows that if you enter Britain illegally, you will be detained and swiftly removed. Removed, back to your country, if it’s safe, or to a safe country, a safe third country, like Rwanda. That is precisely what this bill will do. That is how we will stop the boats.”

Last year, Britain agreed a deal to send tens of thousands of migrants more than 4,000 miles away to Rwanda.

The first deportation flight was blocked by an injunction from the European Court of Human Rights.

London's High Court then ruled it lawful in December, but opponents are seeking to appeal that verdict.

Sunak said Tuesday's new legislation means the government will, quote, "take back control of our borders, once and for all."

Charities say the proposal may be impractical, and criminalize the efforts of thousands of genuine refugees.

Opposition parties too have questioned whether the latest plans would be any more effective than previous attempts to stop people from making the crossing.

That begs the question - will migrants actually be deterred from trying to reach the UK?

Clare Moseley from Care4Calais says she doesn't think the "draconian" measures will work.

''I cannot see any prospect of this stopping people crossing the (English) Channel. As we said, the Rwanda deal had no impact in people crossing the Channel. Deterrence in general, for the last ten years, our government has followed policies based on deterrence and none of them have had any impact on people crossing the Channel. So why should this be any different.''

The Refugee Council charity says tens of thousands of genuine refugees who would previously have been granted asylum would be "locked up like criminals" under the plans.

That being the case, will Sunak face opposition to the legislation - or even legal challenges?

Well, there are many practical and legal issues to the proposals, including where migrants can be deported to if they cannot claim asylum.

Rwanda only had one hostel to accept UK arrivals last year, with the capacity for 100 people - a fraction of those who have arrived in the UK on small boats.

The government has said it plans to house people in disused military bases and vacation parks.

But there are questions if the government has the capacity to keep people detained in these centers.

Some lawyers say the new plans also seemingly disregard Britain’s commitments under the United Nations Refugee Convention.

The rules there provide a route to a fair hearing for asylum seekers - no matter how they arrived in a country.

This could lead to the government facing legal challenges over the legislation.

Governments across the world are wrestling with how to deal with an influx of refugees fleeing war-torn countries or persecution in their homelands.

Sunak is trying to build a reputation as a leader who by mastering the detail can fix complex problems that have eluded his predecessors.

But his comments about the new immigration plans have raised expectations that this will effectively end small-boat crossings.