Eastbourne MP praises volunteers for migrant rescue

The MP for Eastbourne has thanked local volunteers for their work yesterday in towing migrants into the harbour.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 1:23 pm

Yesterday (Wednesday September 8), a boat of migrants arrived in Eastbourne.

The boat was towed into Sovereign Harbour by RNLI lifeboat volunteers at around 1pm.

Sussex Police said officers helped detain those on board ahead of the arrival of UK Border Force officials.

Migrants arriving into Eastbourne on September 8 2021

Following the incident, Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell said, “I would like to thank the RNLI and the Eastbourne lifeboat crew for all they have done to get these people to safety. My heart goes out to anyone who is desperate enough to make this perilous journey.”

She touched on how people smugglers are ‘making huge fortunes playing on this desperation’.

Mrs Ansell said, “The Nationality and Borders Bill going through parliament right now will do much to stop these organised criminal gangs from operating. It will also offer the prospect of life imprisonment for those who people smuggle.

“This boat was lucky, it was picked up and then handed over to the authorities. But what of those boats which make it to our shore undetected and the people on board disappear into the country? Many face modern slavery or sex trafficking into our cities.”

Migrants arriving into Eastbourne on September 8 2021

She said the way forward is to encourage people to use ‘only safe and legal routes’ into the UK.

Mrs Ansell said, “We need to work with our European friends to make sure that migrants are processed in the country they entered and offer financial and practical support to make that happen.”