Britain’s Home Secretary has been forced to deny that the government’s new crackdown on migrant boats crossing the Channel was announced in language “not unlike that used by Germany in the 1930s”.

Interior Minister Suella Braverman did a round of media interviews on Wednesday and faced a flurry of questions from journalists about the new illegal migration bill that saw her promise to “stop the boats”.

“Last year over 45,000 people made the unsafe, unnecessary and illegal journey across the Channel,” Braverman said in announcing the new policy.

“Our asylum system has been overwhelmed. We are now spending almost £7m (€7.86m) a day on hotels. Stopping the boats is one of the five promises the Prime Minister has made to the British people. And that’s my top It’s that’s why today I’m announcing a new bill on illegal migration to do just that.”

She was asked about a tweet by former England soccer star turned BBC pundit Gary Linekar, who called the new legislation “extremely cruel” and likened the language to 1930s German.

Braverman said she was “disappointed” by Linekar’s comments and claimed to be “on the side of the British people” by introducing the new legislation.

Anglo-French summit coming this week

The latest UK move to stop people coming to the UK across the Channel from France claiming asylum – which the UN refugee agency says is “deeply concerned” roughly — arriving just a few days before a scheduled one Franco-British Summit on March 10.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will be in the French capital and the meeting with Emmanuel Macronat the first such summit since 2018, cited as “an opportunity for the two leaders to deepen cooperation in a range of areas, including security, climate and energy, economy, migration, youth and foreign policy.”

The French government has offered no official reaction to the migrant handling provisions of the new legislation, but Jonathan Portes, senior fellow at Britain in a changing Europe says the French haven’t seen anything yet to get prickly about.

“What the French get upset about is when the British government says ‘this is all the fault of the French, if they just got a grip on their own borders and what’s going on there none of this would be happening,'” explains Portes, whose group is a network by academics whose aim is to promote independent research into the “complex and ever-evolving relationship between the UK and the EU”.

“Understandably the French are not too happy about it. But it was none of that yesterday, it was about what’s going to happen in Britain. So the French can have their views on whether this is necessary or feasible or moral or legal or whatever ideally, but if I were a French government official I would shrug my shoulders and say ‘well, the British do what the British do, in itself it doesn’t really affect us,'” he told Euronews.

“We don’t break the law”

British government ministers have insisted the new legislation does not break the law – even as human rights group Amnesty International said there was a conflict between the new bill and international laws protecting asylum seekers and refugees.

“We are not breaking the law and no government representative has said we are breaking the law. In fact, we have made it very clear that we believe we are complying with our international commitments,” Braverman said when challenged on Wednesday.

Alexander Heepsa senior solicitor at a Glasgow law firm McGlashan MacKaywhich specializes in immigration, asylum and human rights, echoed Amnesty’s concerns about the bill’s legality.

“Yesterday’s announcement to the House of Commons regarding this Bill shows once again how willing the Government is to drive hard against domestic law and the UK’s international obligations,” said Heeps.

“The disregard shown for fundamental principles such as non-refoulement and the provisions of the Refugee Convention should concern not only those fleeing persecution from their countries, but also those currently in the asylum system and the public in general.” he told Euronews.

Heeps said that before Brexit Britain would have been able to make requests from other EU countries to take back people who end up in Britain and claim asylum there, “but that is no longer possible”, he said.

“This solution looks very much like the UK government trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted and what this bill proposes will only damage relations between the UK and its continental neighbors and create more problems than it intends to solve,” he said.

Public opinion in the UK, lawyer Alexander Heep said, had become “significantly more positive about immigration overall” in recent years, but that the public also wanted to see the issue of irregular crossings in small boats addressed.

“So I think it’s clear what the government is trying to do, which is trying to polarize public opinion again and try to focus attention on irregular migration to distract from its wider economic and political problems.”