Home secretary Suella Braverman is reportedly reviewing plans to fast-track the removal of asylum seekers from designated “safe” countries in an effort to tackle the Channel migrant crisis.
According to The Times, the government is looking at resurrecting a list of countries deemed by the Home Office to be safe.
Asylum claims of citizens from those countries would largely be regarded as unfounded, unless they are able to provide contrasting evidence. There would be no right to appeal for rejected claimants.
The paper says the plans would emulate a Labour policy from the early 2000s, in which asylum claimants from so-called “white-list” countries would have their applications dealt with in less than 10 days.
Migrants arriving in small boats from one of the countries deemed safe would reportedly be detained at the Manston processing site in Kent, or at other reception centres, as their asylum claims are expedited.
A Home Office spokesperson said in a statement: “We’ve been clear that we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to deter illegal migration, including returning those with no right to be in the UK to their home country.
“We return people who come to the UK illegally through a mixture of formal and information returns agreements with a number of countries, and we are always looking at ways to speed up removals and improve our returns processes with other countries.”
The Times reports the list would include Albania. Albanians accounted for just over a third of people detected crossing the English Channel in small boats in the first nine months of the year.
They also made up nearly half of those detected in July to September.
The figures, which have been published by the Home Office, show there were 33,029 small boat arrivals in the UK from January to September this year.
Of this total, 11,241 (35%) were Albanian nationals.
Almost all of these have arrived since May.
“We value our Albanian community in the UK, and continue to welcome Albanians who travel to the UK legally and contribute to British society,” a Home Office spokesperson said.
“However, this year we are seeing large numbers of Albanians risking their lives and making dangerous and unnecessary journeys to the UK through illegal means, and this is placing further strain on our asylum system.
“With co-operation from the Government of Albania, we are taking every opportunity to intercept the work of organised criminal gangs and people smugglers, and speeding up the removal of Albanians with no right to be in the UK.”