Channel crossings: Sunak defends detention of children to avoid ‘pull factor’ in boat crossings

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has defended the provisions of the Illegal Migration Bill, which says that people arriving on small boats will be detained within the first 28 days without bail or judicial review before being deported.

Critics have raised the alarm that under the bill, the government will have the power to deport unaccompanied children when they turn 18.

Mr Sunak insisted the intention of the policy is “not to detain children” but says the new detention rules must not exempt children in order not to create a “pull factor”.

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