UK Government accused of 'lurching from one inhumane' proposal to another over plans to process asylum seekers abroad
Charities and MPs today criticised the Home Secretary’s proposals to overhaul the asylum and immigration system.
Priti Patel is believed to want to change the law so migrants can be sent to a third country to await being returned to their home nation or the safe country they arrived from.
Locations considered are said to include Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and Scottish islands.
Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “The Tories are lurching from one inhumane, ridiculous proposal to another.
“Last year they were talking about creating waves in the English Channel to wash boats back and buying ferries and oil rigs to process asylum claims.
“These absurd ideas show the Government has lost control and all sense of compassion.
"Ministers must act to reopen safe routes, as promised, and deliver the promised agreement with France.”
The SNP’s Immigration spokesperson, Anne Mclaughlin MP, said: “Already facing widespread criticism over housing asylum seekers in dilapidated military barracks, the Home Secretary has hit a new low with her plans to ship asylum seekers to remote island detention centres and punish asylum seekers simply based on how they arrive - a desperate rehash of a failed New Labour policy from 20 years ago.
“It is disturbing that any government - particularly the UK government - is considering replicating the widely condemned Australian asylum system.
"Following through on these plans would potentially breach the UK’s obligations under Human Rights laws and the 1951 Refugee Convention.
"The UK government is committed under international law to provide a safe haven for those fleeing persecution – it must categorically rule out any option of offshore detention centres."
Gibraltar’s chief minister Fabian Picardo has now written to Ms Patel to insist the reports are “groundless speculation” and Gibraltar would be unable to host the processing of asylum seekers.
He said: “We will not ever shirk our responsibility to help wherever we can.
"Our geography makes some things difficult, however, and the processing of asylum seekers to the UK in Gibraltar would be one of them.”
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