Ministers will this week launch an advertising campaign targeted directly at potential migrants to deter them from attempting to enter Britain on small boats.
The social media blitz will start in Albania, which accounts for a disproportionate number of the 45,000 Channel migrants who arrive each year.
The Home Office says it will counter ‘the vile lies of people smugglers and spell out the consequences for people who arrive illegally’.
One advert shows police detaining a migrant, while another shows a packed dingy. Both carry warnings in English and Albanian that ‘if you come to the UK illegally you face being detained and removed’.
It will coincide with a ‘migration tour’ by immigration minister Robert Jenrick, who will this week visit Algeria, Tunisia, Italy and France.
Ministers will this week launch an advertising campaign targeted directly at potential migrants to deter them from attempting to enter Britain on small boats
The social media blitz will start in Albania, which accounts for a disproportionate number of the 45,000 Channel migrants who arrive each year
Mr Jenrick told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We are saying we will be changing the way in which we deal with small boats – you will be detained and sent to Rwanda in almost every instance and you can’t expect to be housed in a hotel. The UK will no longer be seen as the ‘soft touch’ option.’
Rishi Sunak’s Illegal Migration Bill, which is passing through Parliament, says those who arrive illegally will be swiftly removed to their home country – if safe – or a safe third country.
Mr Jenrick said efforts to tackle small boats were achieving results, with the number crossing the Channel in the first five months of the year now 21 per cent lower than last year. The proportion from Albania dropped from nearly a third to less than two per cent.
It comes as Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting uses an article in today’s MoS to criticise the Government’s reliance on legal migration to fill gaps in the UK’s workforce.
Reacting to last week’s record net migration figures, which showed a rise from 488,000 in 2021 to 606,000 last year, Mr Streeting writes of ‘the total neglect of our young people… denied the skills and opportunities they need to compete in the modern labour market’.
WARNING: One of the Home Office adverts launching in Albania this week