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'Show us some respect:' Albania's PM blasts Braverman for 'blaming' his countrymen for Britain's migrant crisis
2 November 2022, 15:47 | Updated: 2 November 2022, 15:59
Albania's Prime Minister has told Suella Braverman to "stop discriminating" against his countrymen as the Government tries to stop small boat crossings.
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The under-fire home secretary – who controversially branded the migrant crisis an "invasion" – was told to show respect for the Balkan country.
The number of Albanian men involved in the crossings has been focused on heavily in recent days as criticism grows about a crowded detention centre and the sheer number of people making the journey from France.
Edi Rama, the Albanian prime minister, said: "Targeting Albanians (as some shamefully did when fighting for Brexit) as the cause of Britain's crime and border problems makes for easy rhetoric but ignores hard fact.
"Repeating the same things and expecting different results is insane (ask Einstein!)
"UK should fight the crime gangs of all nationalities and stop discriminating v Albanians to excuse policy failures.
"Albania is not a rich country and was for a very long time a victim of empires, we never had our own.
"We have a duty to fight crime at home and are doing so resolutely, as cooperating closely with others too. Ready to work closer with UK but facts are crucial. So is mutual respect."
The Home Office is hoping to agree a "fast track" deal with Albania that would allow it to deport their citizens quicker if they have tried to come to the UK.
Roughly 40,000 people have crossed in 2022 and about 12,000 of those are believed to be Albanian.
Reports have focused on how gangs from the country have become prominent in smuggling, offering deals on Tik Tok.
Some arrivals have reportedly used the Modern Slavery Act to say they are vulnerable and should not be deported.
It comes as Ms Braverman tries to cling on to her job after her controversial reappointment as home secretary, days after Liz Truss sacked her for forwarding work documents to her personal phone.
Ms Braverman was heavily criticised for describing the crisis as an "invasion" of the south coast.
And horrible conditions at the Manston migrant processing centre in Kent – where reports of overcrowding and migrants feeling like the facility is more akin to a "prison" have emerged – have added to the criticism.
She previously caused a stir by saying it was her dream to deport migrants to Rwanda, where they could then claim asylum but not be allowed into the UK.