Priti Patel ‘opens talks with Denmark to open new centre in AFRICA to process asylum seekers who want to come to UK’
- Priti Patel is working on legislation which could see migrants processed offshore
- UK is in talks with Denmark to open immigration processing centre in Rwanda
- Plans form part of effort by the Home Office to curb soaring migrant numbers
- In total, more than 5,300 asylum seekers have arrived in the UK so far this year
The Home Secretary is working on laws which could see migrants sent to an offshore immigration centre, a report has revealed.
The legislation would allow the country to build a processing centre of this kind for the first time as the total number of migrants arriving in the UK this year has reached 5,300.
Priti Patel is in discussions with Denmark to share an immigration centre in Africa and is also set to unveil plans to crackdown on people smugglers.
Priti Patel (pictured) will unveil plans which could see asylum seekers processed in an offshore immigration centre as the Home Office attempts to tackle soaring numbers arriving in the UK
Pictured: In total, more than 5,300 migrants have arrived in the UK so far this year
According to the Times, the plans will form part of the Nationality and Borders Bill and will see asylum seekers processed outside the UK in a bid to stop migrants making the dangerous journey across the English Channel.
Denmark is said to be considering a site in Rwanda where two Danish ministers visited last month to sign off a memorandum on asylum and migration, according to the newspaper.
A government source told The Times: ‘The prime minister and home secretary are determined to look at anything that will make a difference on Channel crossings.’
The Home Office has also studied the Australian system which bans the arrival of migrants travelling by sea and sends them to offshore immigration centres in neighbouring countries such as Papa New Guineau.
Boris Johnson is reportedly unhappy with the growing number of Channel crossings facilitated by people-smugglers, and allegedly blasted Miss Patel for her mismanagement.
May saw 1,619 migrants make the perilous journey from northern France – up 118% on last May
Denmark have been in talks with the UK over plans to share an immigration centre in Africa. Pictured: A man at a departure centre for rejected asylum seekers in Jutland, Denmark
Miss Patel is bringing forward new laws to try to crackdown on the journeys but ministers are apparently frustrated that Border Force officials are failing to enforce the existing rules.
In total 5,300 asylum seekers have arrived in the UK this year so far despite Priti Patel’s announcement of an immigration crackdown in March.
People smugglers are using bigger boats
Home Office insiders have said people smugglers are cramming more asylum seekers onto bigger military style boats to make more money.
According to the Sun, smugglers are also using these boats – which can measure up to 10m – due to a shortage of the smaller dinghies.
A Home Office insider told The Sun: ‘Shops near the French coast have stopped selling smaller dinghies, but the smugglers have just gone further inland to get them.
‘And instead of smaller pleasure craft, they’ve got military-style ribs you’d expect the SAS to use. Rather than put on a pack of five, we have seen cases of over 30 people crammed on.’
It also follows an agreement with the French authorities to crack down and effectively stop migrant crossings by last spring.
Just last month, more than 1,600 arrived across the Channel – double last year’s total for May – and 500 were brought in over the final four days of last month alone.
At present, most of the migrants who arrive in Kent are initially housed at a former army barracks in Folkestone which was set on fire in a riot over conditions in January amid a coronavirus outbreak.
Asylum seekers are free to come and go from the camp, and adults have an initial interview before being sent to accommodation centres across Britain, paid for by UK taxpayers and provided by private contractors.
The migrants are given £37.75 per week for essentials like food, clothes and toiletries while they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Kent County Council normally takes unaccompanied children into its care.
Mrs Patel has vowed to make illegal immigration across the Channel ‘unviable’ – but numbers are continuing to soar, and Dover’s Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke has called for ‘urgent action’ to stop the crossings.
Earlier this month, Denmark ratcheted up its tough anti-immigration laws by adopting new legislation enabling it to open asylum centres outside Europe where applicants would be sent to live.
The latest move by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s Social Democratic anti-immigration government is aimed at deterring migrants from coming to Denmark at all.
Asylum seekers would now have to submit an application in person at the Danish border and then be flown to an asylum centre outside Europe while their application is being processed.
If the application is approved and the person is granted refugee status, he or she would be given the right to live in the host country, but not in Denmark.
The bill sailed through parliament, supported by a majority including the far-right, despite opposition from some left-wing parties.
The European Commission said the Danish plan violates existing EU asylum rules.