Wednesday, May 12, 2021
HomeLive StreamGibraltar rejects it could be used to process asylum seekers from UK

Gibraltar rejects it could be used to process asylum seekers from UK

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The British overseas territory is thought to be a location under consideration by officials, as well as the Isle of Man.

But Gibraltar’s government said it had not received any proposal on the issue from the UK and chief minister Fabian Picardo has written to the Home Secretary to say it will not happen.

The Isle of Man said it has not been contacted by the UK Government about any proposals.

In his letter to Ms Patel, Mr Picardo said there were constitutional and legal issues, as well as the “geographic limitations” of the territory which prevented it being used to process asylum seekers.

The chief minister said that while “we will not ever shirk our responsibility” to help Britain, “our geography makes some things difficult, however, and the processing of asylum seekers to the UK in Gibraltar would be one of them”.

“Immigration is an area of my responsibility as chief minister under the Gibraltar constitution and I can confirm that this issue has not been raised with me at any level.

“I would have made clear this is not area on which we believe we can assist the UK.”

A spokesman for the Isle of Man Government said: “The Isle of Man is self-governing, the UK Government would not be able to open any sort of processing centre on the island without consent.

“The UK Government has not contacted the Isle of Man Government about any such proposal.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel / PA Wire

The crown dependency’s parliament, the Tynwald, is thought to be unlikely to approve any processing centre.

Ms Patel has vowed to stop migrants making the perilous journey across the English Channel and is expected to publish details of plans overhauling the UK’s asylum and immigration system in the coming weeks.

The Times said plans due to be set out by the Home Secretary will include a consultation on changing the law so migrants seeking asylum can be sent to processing centres in third countries.

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