Preity Patel was looking to the UK to send asylum seekers to the South Atlantic

Preity Patel was looking to the UK to send asylum seekers to the South Atlantic

Preity Patel urged the authorities to look for a refuge processing center on Ascension Island, a British expatriate located 4,000 miles from the United Kingdom in the South Atlantic, for British immigrants.

Home Secretary officials also looked at the possibility of building a shelter in St. Helena, part of the same island.

However, the idea of ​​relocating asylum seekers to remote volcanoes seems to have been dropped by Mrs. Patel. The State Department’s plans were consulted and an assessment of the effectiveness of shipping in remote areas of asylum seekers was provided.

Mrs Patel is expected to address the migration across the English Channel in a speech at the “Virtual” Conservative Party conference on Sunday.

The Channel Crossing has a small proportion of the more than 34,000 people who filed asylum claims in the United States alone from June to June, but it is officially estimated that the number has increased using this route.

Georgetown Ascension Island’s main town McFoe / Prot / Almi

About 5,000 people arrived in dinghies at the end of August, more than double the 1,890 seen in the whole of 2019. The issue has become a propaganda issue for right-wing politicians, especially Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit party.

Multiple Whitehall officials told the Financial Times that Ms Patel had instructed them to work on how Home Office ministers called “illegal” immigration – how other countries, including those operating asylum abroad, behaved.

Ames Patel’s associates insisted that the idea would not happen. “The Home Secretary doesn’t want that.” However, people close to him have confirmed that an offshore shelter was considered.

“We’re looking at how other countries are dealing with this issue,” said one well-known person. “It simply came to our notice then. The ministers made no decision. ”

Immigrants packed up in a small inflatable boat effort to cross the English Channel near Dover in September © Luke Dray / Getty Images

Ascension Island, used as a platform for the supply and defense of the Falkland Islands, has an RAF base and a population of less than one thousand; Removing asylum seekers there after coming to the UK can be a big logical challenge.

Australia has been using offshore processing and detention centers for asylum seekers since the late 1980s.

This proposal is further evidence of the impact of Tony Abbott’s ideas on the Johnson government. The former Australian prime minister, known for his tough stance on immigration, was appointed trade adviser to the Johnson government and recently met with Mrs Patel.

An Australian Immigration Detention Center on Christmas Island, closed in 2013 © Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Ms Patel’s team also looked at the idea, considered by the EU, to create an asylum processing center in North Africa so that migrants could be tested before making a dangerous trip to Britain. The plan echoes the proposals made by Brussels during its UK membership.

A Home Office official said: “The United Kingdom has a long and proud history of providing shelter to those in need. Thousands of people have rebuilt their lives in the UK and we will continue to provide safe and legal routes in the future.

“As the ministers have said, we are planning to reform policies and laws around illegal immigration and asylum to ensure that we are able to protect those in need, in order to prevent misuse of management and the crime involved.”

Additional report by Robert Wright

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