Migrants trying to cross the English Channel to the UK from mainland Europe will travel to Albania for a new refugee center. The ministers believe that the opening of the center in Albania will be a deterrent for migrants. According to a source in the UK government, the likelihood of a deal with Tirana now “looks good.” Earlier this week, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel pledged to stop “100 percent” of illegal crossings of the English Channel.
It seems that Britain has found a solution to the migrant crisis: illegal migrants trying to get into the country through the English Channel are offered to urgently be sent to an “offshore” refugee center in Albania, writes the Daily Mail .
The ministers are discussing the opening of a center for migrants on Albanian territory, which, in their opinion, will become a deterrent for migrants arriving from northern France. According to the Times, anyone seeking asylum in the UK after arriving illegally, such as by boat or other small craft, will be taken to the new center within seven days.
However, the project will cost the British taxpayer £ 100,000 in flight and accommodation per migrant.
Earlier reports of plans to establish offshore centers for migrants, including the use of disused oil rigs in the North Sea, which were discussed last year, ultimately failed.
But the likelihood of a deal with Tirana now “looks good,” a UK government source said, despite the Albanian foreign minister rejecting the idea just last month.
Earlier this week, Interior Minister Priti Patel pledged to stop “100 percent” of the crossings of the English Channel by illegal migrants from France.
A total of 1,185 people crossed the strait between the continent and the UK last Thursday, surpassing the previous daily high of 853. Overall, more than 20,000 people entered the UK this year.
In response to news of the plan to open an asylum center in Albania, a spokesman for the UK Home Office said: “Migrants on these perilous crossings are putting their lives at risk and it is imperative that we do everything we can to prevent these attempts and break the business model. … criminal groups that exploit people. People need to seek asylum in the first safe country they arrive in, and as part of our response, it is important that we have a maritime deterrent and we are working with international partners to end this dangerous travel. ”
When the plans were first reported by The Sun last month, a spokesman for the Albanian prime minister called the reports “completely untrue.”
In March, it was suggested that asylum seekers who illegally cross the Channel to reach the UK could be rerouted to a third country, such as Turkey. Other options were islands off the coast of Scotland, the Isle of Man, or Gibraltar.
Aid organizations called the proposals “inhuman,” and an immigration expert said that although there is no law prohibiting such a move, “a legal case must be brought up on this matter.”
On Wednesday, a new study by the British Refugee Council found that nearly two-thirds of migrants who cross the Channel to the UK are from the Middle East. More than 61 percent of those traveling the dangerous 21-mile straight-line journey from Calais to Dover are from countries such as Iran and Iraq.
The largest number of migrants arriving in small boats come from Iran, with 3,187 Iranian citizens arriving in the UK from January last year to May this year. The numbers also show that 2,185 people from Iraq crossed the English Channel during the same period. Other Middle Eastern peoples in the top ten countries that arrived in small boats include war-torn countries such as Syria and Yemen, as well as oil-rich Kuwait. Of the non-Middle East countries, the largest arrivals came from Sudan, with about eight percent of small boat arrivals from Vietnam, about six percent from Eritrea and one percent from Ethiopia.
According to the British Refugee Council, all of the top 10 countries, accounting for 91 per cent of arrivals ashore in the UK, are countries where human rights abuses and harassment are common.