Home Secretary Priti Patel is considering plans for a consultation on changing legislation so migrants seeking asylum can be sent to processing center’s in third countries.
- A Home Office source told the move was designed to curb illegal Channel crossings. They added: “If people know that they are not going to get to stay in the UK then they are less likely to make that perilous journey.”
- Migrants could be sent to a third country, such as Turkey, where they will either be returned to their home nation, or the safe country they arrived in Britain from. According to The Times, islands off the coast of Scotland are under consideration, while the Isle of Man and Gibraltar have also been discussed by top officials.
- The European Union has paid Turkey more than £5 billion since 2016 to accommodate four million migrants – mostly from war-ravaged Syria. The scheme was designed to prevent migrants continuing their journey to Europe.
- A similar scheme has been operated by Australia for years. Asylum seekers travelling by sea have been banned from entering the country, and redirected to accommodation center’s in neighboring states such as Papua New Guinea.
- Charities have branded the proposals ‘inhumane,’ while an immigration expert said there was ‘bound to be a court case about it’.
One focus will be how the UK could transfer asylum seekers to another country. Many destroy their passports before arriving here and try to keep their true nationality secret. In those circumstances it is not known how they could be relocated. The Home Office could be subject to challenges under international human rights or refugee conventions.