British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Tuesday (December 13) a deal with Albania that notably includes provisions for speeding up the processing of asylum applications and mass deportations of those who are rejected, in a comprehensive package of measures to combat illegal immigration.
“We will be tough but fair“, Rishi Sunak declared in front of Parliament, announcing that the government would expel in the coming months”thousandsof Albanians, a nationality representing a third of the migrants arriving aboard small boats across the Channel.
Despite Brexit promises of “regain controlof borders, Britain has never seen so many migrants arrive illegally after crossing the English Channel. They are about 45,000 that have passed since the beginning of the year, against almost 30,000 in 2021.
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Among the series of measures announced by Rishi Sunak, the deployment of British Border Police officers to Tirana airport, an increase in the threshold for an asylum seeker to be considered a victim of modern slavery, as well as assurances from the Albanian government that victims would be protected. He hammered that Albania is a country”of course» and that with the changes announced on Tuesday, «the vast majority of claims made by Albanians can simply be declared clearly unfounded“.
More generally, the leader of the Conservative government announced a doubling of the number of agents processing asylum applications to reduce delays, the use of former holiday centres, student accommodation or military premises to halve the bill for accommodation for asylum seekers currently housed in hotels.
He also insisted the government would resume the project to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda who arrived illegally on British soil, currently at a standstill following an intervention by European law.
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