'Stop the boats' - councils expected to say they are 'full' as Braverman focuses on immigration during US visit

UK Border Force officials help migrants intercepted whilst travelling in a RIB from France to Dover from Border Force cutter HMC Speedwell and the tug boat DHB Dauntless as another Patrol Vessel of intercepted migrants arrives at the Marina in Dover, southeast England on August 13, 2020. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday said illegal migrant crossings of the Channel, which have hit record numbers, were
The issue of illegal migrants is set to be the subject of an official consultation, according to reports. (Getty) (BEN STANSALL via Getty Images)
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What's happening?

Local councils are set to tell a government consultation that they cannot take any additional migrants because they are "full", it has been reported.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that a consultation with local authorities on the number of people who enter the UK each year will see councils say they cannot offer any more housing than they currently do.

Local authorities currently provide housing to asylum seekers as part of a system that has sparked controversy in some areas.

According to the Telegraph, the consultation will ask what capacity authorities have to take more migrants, as well as asking them to make "binding commitments".

But it suggested that sources said very few extra places would be volunteered, with councils claiming they "don’t have any housing for local residents, let alone new arrivals".

The newspaper reported that the Local Government Association had also raised concerns about councils being asked to commit to numbers.

The issue of illegal migrants coming to the UK is ongoing, with the government pledging to 'stop the boats'.

Here are the latest developments on the controversial issue.

Braverman to set out 'blueprint' on migration during US visit

Suella Braverman is set to visit the US this week in a visit that will see her discuss immigration.

The Home Secretary's three-day visit will include talks with a range officials including US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland, and will include illegal immigration.

Braverman is expected to question whether some of the major international conventions governing the movement of people are "fit for purpose".

Ahead of the visit, she said: "Illegal migration and the unprecedented mass movement of people across the globe is placing unsustainable pressures on America, the UK, and Europe.

"We must come together and ask whether the international conventions and legal frameworks designed fifty-plus years ago are fit for purpose in an age of jet travel and smartphones."

She added that if governments failed to "meet these challenges, then our political institutions risk losing their democratic legitimacy".

What are the rules on how many migrants can come to the UK?

PORTLAND, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: A pilot boat passes the Bibby Stockholm immigration barge in Portland Port, on September 21, 2023 in Portland, England. The floating accommodation has been hired by the UK Home Office to house between 400 and 500 asylum seekers, although its first residents were evacuated days after their arrival in August following the discovery of Legionella bacteria in the barge's water system. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
Some asylum seekers are being housed on the Bibby Stockholm barge. (Getty) (Finnbarr Webster via Getty Images)

Addressing the situation of migrants coming to the UK on small boats via the Channel has been on Rishi Sunak's agenda since he became Prime Minister.

The PM's pledge to "stop the boats" took a step forward when the Illegal Migration Bill became law earlier this year.

The law meant that: "people who arrive illegally under the new laws will be banned from re-entering the UK and will not be eligible for settlement or citizenship, except in limited circumstances".

It also aimed to remove people who had arrived illegally - either to their home country or to a third country.

Earlier this month, the highest number of small boat migrant crossings in a single day in 2023 was recorded.

Some 872 people crossed on 15 small vessels, provisional Government data suggested at the start of September - suggesting an average of around 58 people per boat.

The Home Office has said it remains committed to supporting "the most vulnerable, including those fleeing persecution", with more than 350 local authorities welcoming resettled refugees.

In a statement to the Telegraph, it said: "It is important that we understand the capacity of the UK to support those arriving on our safe and legal routes ensuring that they can be accommodated and integrated effectively.

"That is why we have committed to introduce a cap on the number of people brought to the UK through safe and legal routes each year. The cap will be based on the UK’s capacity and determined through consultation with local authorities."

How many migrants arrive illegally in the UK each year?

DOVER, ENGLAND - JUNE 05: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during a press conference at Western Jet Foil in Dover, as he gives an update on the progress made in the six months since he introduced the Illegal Migration Bill under his plans to
Rishi Sunak has pledged to 'Stop the Boats' as part of his premiership. (Getty) (WPA Pool via Getty Images)

In August, the Labour Party claimed that more than 25,000 asylum seekers had arrived in Britain via small boats since Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister.

That figure was believed to have been topped at around the same time when the Home Office recorded that 144 people arrived in three boats.

At the time, Labour's Shadow immigration minister Stephen Kinnock said the figures the party had analysed showed that Sunak had "fundamentally failed to get a grip" on the migrant crisis in the English Channel, despite his pledge to 'Stop the Boats'.

According to Ministry of Defence figures, more than 7,600 people, thought to have been asylum seekers, arrived in Britain in small boats between October 25 and December 31.

Home Office figures up to 18 August suggested that almost 17,500 people had arrived via the same route in 2023.

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