Ben & Jerry's accuses UK government of 'lack of humanity’ on migrants

Ice cream maker speaks out after surge in migrants trying to reach UK

DOVER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Migrants arrive in port aboard a Border Force vessel after being intercepted while crossing the English Channel from France in small boats on August 11, 2020 in Dover, England. In recent weeks large numbers of migrants have travelled in small boats across the English channel, looking to claim asylum in the UK. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images) (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
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International ice cream company Ben & Jerry's has opened a Twitter debate with the British government over its treatment of migrants.

There has been a surge in the number of migrants trying to reach the UK across the English Channel and the British military has been called in to help police operations.

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said she wanted to make it "unviable" for people to travel to the UK illegally.

The ice cream company tweeted to Ms Patel:

The Twitter salvo has received more than 40,000 tweet and comments in less than 24 hours.

Hundreds of people have tried to make the crossing from France in the past week, up from the normal monthly figure of less than 200.

Ms Patel has not commented but a member of her staff said she was addressing genuine concerns about porous borders.

"If that means upsetting the social media team for a brand of overpriced junk food, then so be it,” the staffer told the BBC.

Fellow Conservative minister James Cleverly responded:

Mr Cleverly did not say to which inaccuracies he was referring.

On the thread were reactions from both sides of the debate but more seemed to be agreeing with the company than the government.

Ross Colquhoun, a Scottish Nationalist, tweeted:

Andrew Stroehlein, European media director at Human Rights Watch, said:

Twitter user Roshambow said:

And radio talk show host James O’Brien tweeted:

Ms Patel’s ruling Conservative Party has said it wants to introduce stricter immigration rules but has been unable to prevent the surge in crossings this month.

It has also blamed criminal gangs for exploiting migrants who turn up in northern France seeking a new life in Europe.

Meanwhile, France has reportedly requested £30 million (Dh143.4m/$39m) to strengthen security on its side of one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Britain’s armed forces have been asked to help stem the growing flow of migrants and refugees arriving on small boats across the English Channel.

Ben & Jerry's was acquired by Unilever in 2000 in a deal that also allows it to operate with more autonomy than other subsidiaries

It uses that freedom to pursue a cultural and social mission that has recently included strongly supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

It also supports marriage equality and election campaign finance reform.