The clash between Ben and Jerry and the British government is heating up after the ice cream maker hinted at a tweet that Parliament showed an “inhumanity” to asylum seekers.
Tensions rose Tuesday between the Vermont-based company and the government when Ben and Jerry tweeted Britain’s Home Secretary, Home Secretary Patel Patel, who vowed to stop a record number of UK asylum seekers who cross the English Channel.
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“Hey @PritiPatel we think the real crisis is our humanity’s lack of people fleeing war, climate change and torture,”; the company said in a tweet.
More than 650 migrants have made the dangerous crossing and arrived in Britain so far in August; 235 made the 20 mile journey in a single day last week.
“People wouldn’t make dangerous trips if they had another choice,” Ben and Jerry said. “The UK has not repatriated any refugees since March, but wars and violence continue. What we need is safer and legal ways.”
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Earlier this week, Patel – an immigration hardener in the government of Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson – tweeted that the road was “extremely dangerous”. She said she was working “tirelessly” to deal with “the unacceptable number of illegal small boat crossings” and to make sure the road became “unavoidable”.
She said the government is working both to stop ships leaving France, and also to eavesdrop and return those making crossings.
Successive British governments have struggled for decades with illegal immigration through the canal, both by migrants by boat and by those smuggled through ports of entry into trucks and other vehicles.
Immigration activists have said many migrants have legitimate reasons to go to the country and the government should provide legal avenues to get there safely.
Social media users and other MPs were quick to get rid of the company, a long champion for liberal causes.
Member of Parliament Martin Daubney quoted a source from the Home Office, which oversees immigration, security and law and order in the UK, as saying these boat crossings have been “facilitated by international criminal gangs”.
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“If that means the social media team is concerned about a brand of junk food, then so be it,” Daubney wrote.
MP James Cleverly also expressed outrage over the company’s remarks on social media.
“May I have a large box of statistically inaccurate alerts signaled with my high-priced ice cream, please,” he returned with the tweet.
Ben and Jerry was founded in Burlington, Vt., In 1978 by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. Since then, the company, now owned by Unilever PLC, has defended liberal causes, including the Black Lives Matter movement and the “Awakening of Democracy” protests in 2016.
Ben & Jerry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Adam Shaw and the Associated Press contributed to this report for FOX News.
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