Priti Patel 'asked Home Office to explore sending asylum seekers to island in the south Atlantic'
Migrants seeking asylum in Britain could be processed offshore under plans being developed by Priti Patel. Officials have ruled out Ascension Island and St Helena as impractical because of their distance from the UK but the Home Secretary is still seeking a third country where asylum seekers could be held while their applications are processed.
Sources close to Ms Patel countered criticism of the proposal by citing similar plans by Tony Blair when he faced a surge in illegal migrants crossing the channel by hitching lifts on lorries or trains in 2003. His transit processing centres in “protected zones in third countries were designed to “deter those who enter the EU illegally and make unfounded asylum applications.”
A Government source said: “We are looking at offshoring but key will be finding an appropriate location.” The move would require new legislation and could be included in an overhaul of immigration and asylum laws being planned by Ms Patel in an attempt to combat the surge in illegal migrants crossing the Channel. More than 6,000 have crossed the Channel this year.
Writer: Charles Hymas
Publication: The Telegraph