THE prime minister has dismissed suggestions he might stand down now Brexit has been achieved — and said his deal was making Britain richer.
Boris Johnson told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show there were ‘lots of reasons’ to be positive about an ‘otherwise grim new year’, claiming ‘already substantial sums of money are coming back into this country as a result of leaving the EU’.
He highlighted state subsidies to level up the country, free ports, border controls and a points-based system for immigration. Asked if he would carry on now that the transition was complete, he replied: ‘Yes.’
The Port of Dover was reporting no significant delays yesterday with cross-channel traffic still low after the Christmas break and hauliers staying away from the new borders.
Meanwhile, home secretary Priti Patel promised ‘tougher powers to keep this country safe’ — despite reduced intelligence-sharing with EU police forces.
She told The Sunday Telegraph these included banning foreign criminals who had served more than a year in jail from entering the UK, refusing to accept ‘insecure’ national ID cards and a crackdown on illegal imports with pre-arrival data on goods from the EU.
But the Brexit deal means UK police forces no longer have real-time access to the Schengen Information System on terrorists and serious criminals allowing for alerts at borders, which they accessed 1.7million times a day.
Migrants crossing the Channel at a new high
MORE than 8,400 migrants crossed the Channel to reach the UK last year — four times the number for 2019. Journeys peaked at 1,951 in September, with some losing their lives as they set out in kayaks or even a paddling pool.
Home secretary Priti Patel signed a deal with her French counterpart in November, vowing to double the number of patrol officers in France and make the route to the UK ‘unviable’.
But Bella Sankey, director of humanitarian charity Detention Action, said millions of taxpayers’ money had been ‘squandered on the unicorn of unviability’.