'We're exploring all options': Braverman refuses to rule out using electronic tags to track fleeing migrants

28 August 2023, 09:51 | Updated: 28 August 2023, 10:43

Suella Braverman
Suella Braverman. Picture: Getty/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has refused to rule out using electronic GPS tags to track fleeing migrants.

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The Times had reported that the Home Office is looking at the plans as part of efforts to stop migrants who disappear from detention centres.

Ms Braverman has said the Home Office is considering a "range of options" to sure the UK has a level of control over who enters the UK and where they can go.

"We've just enacted a landmark piece of legislation in the form of our Illegal Migration Act. That empowers us to detain those who arrive here illegally and thereafter to swiftly remove them to a safe country like Rwanda," she said.

The Times said officials are considering it as a way to prevent migrants who cannot be housed in limited detention sites from absconding.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman
Home Secretary Suella Braverman. Picture: Alamy

"We need to exercise a level of control of people if we're to remove them from the United Kingdom," Ms Braverman told Sky.

"We are considering a range of options. We have a couple of thousand detention places in our existing removal capacity.

"We will be working intensively to increase that but it's clear we're exploring a range of options, all options, to ensure that we have that level of control over people so that they can flow through our systems swiftly to enable us to thereafter remove them from the United Kingdom."

Read More: Bibby Stockholm plans face fresh legal challenge over Government's 'callous disregard' for safety

Read More: Suella Braverman can't be blamed for housing migrants on barge with Legionella, ConservativeHome editor says

It comes as a firefighters union prepares to launch a new legal challenge to Government plans to house migrants on the Bibby Stockholm asylum barge.

The union has accused ministers of a 'callous disregard' for safety onboard the vessel.

Bibby Stockholm asylum seekers barge at Portland Port near Weymouth in Dorset
Bibby Stockholm asylum seekers barge at Portland Port near Weymouth in Dorset. Picture: Alamy

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has sent Home Secretary Suella Braverman a "pre-action protocol letter" detailing concerns over the suitability of the vessel which is currently moored in Portland, Dorset.

The union has previously called the Bibby Stockholm, designed to hold 200 people, a "potential death trap" as ministers were preparing to fill the barge with up to 500 asylum seekers.

Migrants were moved off the barge were moved off on August 11 after the legionella bacteria was discovered last week.

Legionella can cause the potentially fatal Legionnaires' disease.

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