Speaking to the Home Affairs Select Committee, permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft acknowledged that the controversial plan could lead to riskier Channel crossings being attempted or a return to more attempts by people to stowaway in lorries.
During the committee hearing on Wednesday, SNP MP Stuart McDonald asked Mr Rycroft: “Do you factor in the possibility that in actual fact behaviour changes, so more dangerous crossings are attempted or there’s a move back to clandestine arrivals in the back of lorries, for example?”
In response, Mr Rycroft said: “Absolutely. Yes, I think it’s really important to see this in the round and thank you for the opportunity to agree with you on that. I do agree that we should be thinking about irregular migration in general and all of the different routes.
“And it would be a pyrrhic victory if this set of policies were successful in closing down the small boat route but created something even more dangerous. That would not be a victory at all, so we need to make sure we’re thinking about this in the round.”
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