GIBRALTAR and the Isle of Man could be asked to process asylum seekers under Britain’s tough new immigration system, Priti Patel hinted today.
The Home Secretary didn’t rule out trying to strike deals with the two territories as part of plans to crack down on Channel crossings.
It has been reported the Government wants to use them, as well as some Scottish islands, to temporarily house refugees.
Asked about the proposals today, Mrs Patel said: “All the time people are being trafficked and smuggled through illegal routes, we as a Government have a duty of responsibility to consider all options.
“We will look at third country removal and we will also do that looking alongside bilateral agreements.
“We will put all options on the table in terms of working with third countries, and countries like Denmark already exploring options like this.
“And we will continue to explore bilaterally options in terms of returning and removing people that have come to the UK illegally.”
Gibraltar’s government has reacted with fury to the suggestion it could be used to process asylum seekers.
Chief minister Fabian Picardo had urged the Home Secretary to reject such “groundless speculation”.
And he insisted the Rock, which is a self-governed British Overseas Territory, has total control of its own border policy.
In a letter to Mrs Patel he wrote: “Gibraltar is always ready to help the UK as part of the British family of nations.
“Our geography makes some things difficult, however, and the processing of asylum seekers to the UK in Gibraltar would be one of them.
“I would have made clear this is not an area on which we believe we can assist the UK.”
Mrs Patel will today announce that illegal immigrants landing on England’s beaches face “boomerang” deportation in as little as 24 hours and will be sent to the back of the asylum queue.
And “asylum shoppers” will be blocked from travelling through safe countries to settle in their preferred destination of the UK.
Taking aim at immoral lawyers and lefty armchair critics, the Home Secretary declared “no one can defend the current system” as she launches the biggest reforms in a generation to Britain’s “broken” asylum process.
People smugglers face full life sentences and immigration legal firms face their entire business being upended for helping to “support criminality” and luring people to Britain under false hope.
Ahead of a major speech today Priti told HOAR “the status quo is not an option anymore” as she warned her “mission” will take years to complete.
Throwing down the gauntlet to the PM amid suggestions she could be reshuffled out of her job, she says: “I’m here to get on and do this job” but stressed it would be “hard, hard graft.”
“This will take time and I’ll be very honest with the British people about this there’s no one quick fix, this is not a short term, this is for the long term.”
Priti’s landmark reforms will be based on three “firm but fair” pillars:
- FIRSTLY opening more legal paths for the truly needy from wartorn areas of the world.
- SECONDLY cutting off the smuggling routes across the Channel and their criminal masterminds through Europe.
- THIRDLY making it easier to deport people with no right to be in the UK and punishing lawyers who pursue hopeless appeals, clogging up the system
Speaking from her Whitehall office, she warned that the aim of the reforms was to stop young economic male migrants “elbowing their way” to the front of the immigration queue.
Migrants dumped onto British beaches by people smugglers face being immediately deported to facilities outside the EU where they will have their claims processed – dubbed ‘boomeranging’ by Ms Patel’s Home Office team.