Raab confirms and 'makes no apology' for Govt plans to send migrants abroad for processing

18 November 2021, 06:29 | Updated: 18 November 2021, 08:26

Dominic Raab has told Nick Ferrari the Government 'makes no apology' for plans to sent migrants abroad for processing
Dominic Raab has told Nick Ferrari the Government 'makes no apology' for plans to sent migrants abroad for processing. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Daisy Stephens

Dominic Raab has confirmed the Government is hoping to secure an agreement to fly migrants arriving on Britain's beaches to other countries, in order to ease the UK's migrant crisis.

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Speaking on to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, the Deputy Prime Minister said the Government needed to reduce the "pull factor" of the UK to reduce the migrant "flow" to Britain's shores.

"The extent that we get this flow over to the UK, we need to reduce the pull factor and we will work with all of our partners - so it's not just one country, we've looked at the Australian experience, we've been talking with the Danes about this who have been looking the same way," said Mr Raab.

"And we want to make sure that the processing - if it's possible, and that will depend on the goodwill and the cooperation with partners - can be done elsewhere.

"And we make no apology for at least trying to look at that."

"So it is on?" Clarified Nick.

"We might be sending these folk for processing in Albania, Rwanda and other parts of the globe?"

Mr Raab said: "Let me avoid talking about individual countries, but just to say with international partners this is something that we are probing because we want to test the idea because we will do everything we can to resolve this problem."

The plans will mean migrants arriving in Britain on small boats would be flown to the other countries, reportedly within seven days of arriving on Britain's shores - and it will cost £100,000 per migrant, according to The Times, although Mr Raab said he 'did not recognise' that figure.

They would then remain in that country while they are processed, with the idea being that a long wait there would act as a deterrent for migrants considering making the dangerous Channel crossing.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "Migrants making these dangerous crossings are putting their lives at risk and it is vital we do everything we can to prevent them and break the business model of the criminal gangs exploiting people.

"People should claim asylum in the first safe country they arrive in, and as part of our response it is important we have a maritime deterrent in the channel and work with international partners to put an end to these dangerous journeys."

The spokesperson added that it was "right" to keep all options open for consideration, and added they were continuously testing "safe and legal" strategies for stopping small boats.

The UK is in the grips of a worsening migrant crisis, with record-breaking numbers of people having made the crossing from France this year.

More than 23,500 people have reached the UK on small boats this year, surpassing 2020's figure of 8,417 months ago.

A total of 1,185 migrants reached the UK in small boats last Thursday alone - a new daily record.

Read more: Brits 'have had enough' as record-breaking 1,200 migrants cross Channel in one day

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It is feared that more attempted the crossing but were lost at sea after two kayaks were found adrift off the coast of Calais.

It led the Home Office to say the British public "have had enough", calling the figures "unacceptable".

"The number of illegal migrants we have seen departing from France today is unacceptable," said a Home Office spokesperson.

"The British public have had enough of seeing people die in the Channel while ruthless criminal gangs profit from their misery and our New Plan for Immigration will fix the broken system which encourages migrants to make this lethal journey."

The Government have long-grappled with the most effective way of tackling the migrant crisis.

Two years ago, Home Secretary Priti Patel promised that by spring 2020 Channel crossings would be "infrequent", and in August last year made an additional promise to "make this route unviable".

Read more: Nearly 2,000 migrants arrived in the UK last week in new record for 2021

Read more: Migrant dies in English channel as number of crossings hits record number

Since then the Government has agreed to pay France millions of pounds to increase security on its northern coast.

But despite this, the number of migrants reaching UK shoes has continued to increase.