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Montevideo, April 24th 2024 - 10:23 UTC

 

 

Home Office confirms Ascension Island plan for asylum seekers has been revived, “times change”

Tuesday, August 8th 2023 - 14:14 UTC
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Sarah Dines said “times change” and the small boats crisis had become “urgent” when asked why the Ascension Island plan was reportedly being reconsidered. Sarah Dines said “times change” and the small boats crisis had become “urgent” when asked why the Ascension Island plan was reportedly being reconsidered.

London media is reporting a Home Office minister confirmed the UK Government is looking at “additional measures” following reports that plans to send asylum seekers to Ascension Island could be revived.

Sarah Dines said “times change” and that the small boats crisis had become “urgent” when asked why the Ascension Island plan was reportedly being reconsidered.

Proposals to use the volcanic island in the South Atlantic for processing people who arrive in the UK by unauthorized means are apparently being considered by ministers and officials as a “plan B” if the Rwanda scheme fails.

The plans to send asylum seekers to Kigali have been stalled by legal challenges that will end up in the Supreme Court.

Safeguarding minister Ms Dines said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Suella Braverman remain “committed” to the Rwanda agreement but said other measures were under consideration.

Asked on Sky News whether the multiple reports about the Ascension Island plan being revisited were correct, Ms Dines said: “We are pretty confident that Rwanda is a legal policy.

“The High Court and the Lord Chief Justice found that it was, so that is what we are focusing on. But like any responsible government, we look at additional measures, so we are looking at everything to make sure our policy works.

“We need to reduce the pull factor of illegal criminal gangs getting people to this country, basically abusing the system.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman would not comment on “speculation” surrounding utilizing Ascension Island for asylum.

The British Overseas Territory, which is used as a staging post to supply and defend the Falkland Islands, has an RAF base and a population of fewer than 1,000. There is besides a US base part of Washington' global network of scientific and military installations.

Moving asylum seekers there and keeping them supplied was said to represent a considerable logistical challenge, with the idea apparently dropped.

Ms Dines, asked why it was being briefed that Mr Sunak’s Conservative administration could revisit the possibility of using the island, told Sky News: “Well, times change.

“We look at all possibilities. This crisis in the Channel is urgent, we need to look at all possibilities and that is what we are doing.

“We are determined to make sure there isn’t the pull factor for illegal migrants to come to this country, basically to be abused by criminal organized gangs “These are international operations and they have got to stop.”

A spokesman for the Ascension Island government said: “UK migration policy is a matter for the UK Government.

“The Ascension Island government will not be drawn into speculation.”

Under Dame Priti’s initial plans, asylum seekers would reportedly be processed on Ascension Island with the possibility that they would return to mainland UK if their application was successful.

The Rwanda plan instead involves those sent to Kigali having an application processed to live in the east African country, rather than Britain.

 

Categories: Politics, International.

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  • juanperezko

    When did the Rwanda agreement take place at all? As per https://chi-nese.com/ the first agreement (by Rishi Sunak) took place back in 2022.

    Aug 11th, 2023 - 01:14 pm +1
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