Government to send channel migrants 4,000 miles to Ascension Island as 'sensible' Rwanda alternative

6 August 2023, 23:36 | Updated: 7 August 2023, 08:15

Part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, the 34 square mile territory will act as a 'Plan B' for the government
Part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, the 34 square mile territory will act as a 'Plan B' for the government. Picture: LBC / Alamy

By Danielle DeWolfe

Small boats migrants crossing the channel could face deportation to Ascension Island in a 'Plan B' move by the government should their Rwanda policy fail.

Ministers are said to be drawing up new proposals to send illegal migrants some 4,000 miles as an alternative, describing the plans as the "sensible thing to do".

Up to five other countries – all of which are believed to be in Africa – are believed to be vying to secure a deal with the Home Office similar to that of Rwanda.

Located in the Atlantic Ocean, the isolated volcanic island is situated 1,000 miles from the coast of Africa and 1,400 miles from the coast of South America.

Part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, the 34 square mile territory will act as a 'Plan B' for the government should deportation attempts to Rwanda fail - despite having no hospital.

Part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, the 34 square mile territory will act as a 'Plan B' for the government
Part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, the 34 square mile territory will act as a 'Plan B' for the government. Picture: LBC / Alamy

It forms part of the government's latest hard stance on immigration, with fines for bosses who employ illegal migrants set to triple to £60,000 per employee from the start of next year.

The move is set to come as a strong deterrent, making the employment of illegal migrants economically damaging for businesses.

A view shared by immigration minister Robert Jenrick, the MP argues “unscrupulous” bosses allowing the employment of undocumented workers assists people smugglers.

Home Office ministers are yet to decide which of the five alternative back-up options is likely to prove the most practical according to sources, should the government's Rwanda scheme be blocked by the courts.

Costing an estimated £140 million, the government's Rwanda deal was declared unlawful on human rights grounds in June after it was presided over by the Court of Appeal.

According to a senior government source: "Other plans could be used if we’re frustrated legally on our relocation scheme, even though we are confident it is lawful and await the Supreme Court judgment.

Read more: Labour would have ‘no choice’ but to house migrants on barges and ex-military bases if voted into government

Read more: Suella Braverman says lawyers who help migrants cheat the system are 'criminals and conmen' who 'need to be jailed'

Part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, the 34 square mile territory will act as a 'Plan B' for the government
Part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, the 34 square mile territory will act as a 'Plan B' for the government. Picture: LBC / Alamy

The source added: "This is the right and sensible thing to do – and it’s what our voters would expect of us."

It's believed the choice of Ascension Island came about due it being British territory, with the government hoping the link would remove some of the legal difficulties seen with Rwanda and deportations to a foreign state.

However, logistical difficulties could arise where safety is concerned, given Ascension has no hospital.

Sources also suggest the island would act as a processing facility rather than a destination location.

It follows the Home Secretaries comments over the weekend suggesting that lawyers who assist migrants in cheating the immigration system "need to be jailed".

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Exclusive
c

Angela Rayner condemns 'intimidation' of Labour's Rosie Duffield after she cancels hustings amid 'trolling and spite'

Kate and the royals came out on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the flypast

Kate joins King Charles and other royals on Buckingham Palace balcony for RAF flypast after Trooping the Colour

Exclusive
Ben Habib has hit back at suggestions Nigel Farage could join the Conservative party

Reform deputy hits back at suggestion Nigel Farage could join Tories, after leader tells LBC he could lead merged party

Olympic rings on the Eiffel Tower in Paris

IOC gives 14 Russians and 11 Belarusians neutral status for Paris Olympics

The ride got stuck upside down

Horrifying moment people get stuck upside down on theme park ride, as dozens have to be rescued

David Cameron and Nigel Farage

David Cameron says Nigel Farage is trying to destroy the Conservative Party through Reform UK

Kevin Campbell has died

Arsenal and Everton footballer Kevin Campbell dies aged 54

Kate, Charlotte, Louis, Charles and Camilla seen at the Trooping the Colour ceremony

Kate seen for first time in public since cancer diagnosis at Trooping the Colour, as King receives salute

Millwall's Matija Sarkic died

Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic dies aged 26, as club 'completely devastated'

Muslim pilgrims standing at the top of the rocky hill known as the Mountain of Mercy

Muslim pilgrims converge at Mount Arafat for worship as Hajj reaches its peak

Bob Bell confronted the robber

'Hero' shop worker jumps in to grab gun-toting robber threatening colleague, as mother-in-law praises 'lovely boy'

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, arrives at Zurich airport in Switzerland

World leaders to meet at Swiss resort on possible Ukraine peace roadmap

Live
David Cameron has warned that Nigel Farage is trying to destroy the Conservative party

General Election LIVE: Cameron warns Farage is 'trying to destroy the Conservatives', as Labour tackles NHS

The coach of one of the boys said he was 'not a monster'

'He's not a monster - he just didn't have the right role models,' claims boxing coach of 12-year-old machete murderer

Wayne Lineker was punched

Wayne Lineker's 'own brand of excess and drunkenness' to blame for attack that saw him knocked out, politician says

Alan Bates, Imelda Staunton and Tracey Emin were given honours in the birthday list

Post Office campaigner Alan Bates knighted in Birthday Honours, as Imelda Staunton and Tracey Emin made dames