Boris Johnson says dumping illegal immigrants abroad is 'humane' way to stem numbers crossing Channel
BORIS Johnson said dumping illegal immigrants abroad was “the humane” way to stem the growing numbers crossing the English Channel.
The PM did not deny claims that Home Secretary Priti Patel could rule arrivals on small boats asylum claims as “inadmissible” and have them deported to Gibraltar, the Isle of Man or even far flung nations like Turkey while their papers are processes.
But he justified the potential policy – which has outraged the Gibraltarians.
Speaking at Downing Street last night, the PM said: “The objective is a humanitarian one, or the humane one, which is to stop the abuse by a bunch of traffickers and gangsters, that’s what we're trying to do.
He added: “I will be clear the objective here is to save lives, and avert human misery because people are crossing the Channel, who are being fooled, who are being conned by gangsters into paying huge sums of money and risking their lives.
“People have died making this crossing, and it is a deeply repugnant traffic that we need to stop.”
But the PM added he was happy to grant people already here illegally an amnesty, if they haven’t broken the law.
He said: “I think when people have been here for a very long time, and haven't fallen foul of the law, then it makes sense to try to regularise their status which actually is pretty much what really happens under the existing rules."
But furious Gibraltar has savaged secret plans to dump illegal immigrants on The Rock as Downing Street refused to deny the plot.
Downing Street stoked fears The Rock could be used as a dumping ground for deported migrants – with the PM's official spokesman twice refusing to kill off reports.
He said: “We’ve said before we must fix our broken asylum system to make it firm but fair.
"We’ve looked at a host of countries and how their systems work and we will set out further details in the coming weeks.”
But Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabien Picardo said he would not sanction such a move and has written to the Home Secretary.
He said: "We will not ever shirk our responsibility to help wherever we can.
"Our geography makes some things difficult, however, and the processing of asylum seekers to the UK in Gibraltar would be one of them.
He added: “This is not an area we believe we can assist the UK.”
The Isle of Man, another proposed location, said Ministers could not send immigrants there “without their consent.”
In a statement a spokesman for the Isle of Man Government said: "The Isle of Man is self-governing, the UK Government would not be able to open any sort of processing centre on the island without consent.
"The UK Government has not contacted the Isle of Man Government about any such proposal."
Labour's shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds hit out at plans to process asylum seekers abroad.
He said: "The Tories are lurching from one inhumane ridiculous proposal to another.
"Last year they were talking about creating waves in the English Channel to wash boats back and buying ferries and oil rigs to process asylum claims.
"These absurd ideas show the Government has lost control and all sense of compassion.
"Ministers must act to reopen safe routes, as promised, and deliver the promised agreement with France."
The British Red Cross has warned processing asylum seekers offshore will have "grave humanitarian consequences" as it urged the Government to "open up safe and legal routes" for those making a claim in the UK.
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