UK in Talks with Denmark to Establish Migrant Holding Centre in Africa: Report

DOVER, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Border Force officials guide newly arrived migrants to a holding facility after being picked up in a dinghy in the English Channel on June 24, 2021 in Dover, England. More than 5,000 migrants have arrived this year by crossing the English Channel in boats. (Photo …
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The United Kingdom is reportedly in discussions with the Kingdom of Denmark to establish a joint migration holding centre in Africa in order to process asylum claims in a third county to reduce the pull factors driving the boat migrant crisis in the English Channel.

Earlier this month, Denmark passed legislation allowing the country to process and hold asylum applicants in a third country outside of the European Union. While it maintains a low profile in doing so under the leadership of a young, female, social democrat Prime Minister, Denmark has one of the most pro-border control governments in Western Europe.

Following Denmark’s move, Britain’s Home Office has reportedly been talks with their Danish counterparts as to the “potential” of establishing a shared migrant processing centre in Africa, The Times reported.

The UK has also sought advice from Denmark on how the EU country crafted migration legislation domestically as well as signing removal agreements with third countries, something which has so far eluded the British government since their departure from the bloc at the beginning of the year.

Denmark is said to be seeking to open the centre in the British commonwealth nation of Rwanda, after Danish ministers travelled to sign an agreement on asylum and migration last month.

A source within the British government told the paper: “We’ve had conversations to see what the Danes are doing.”

Another government source added: “The prime minister and home secretary are determined to look at anything that will make a difference on Channel crossings.

“The numbers have a psychological and political impact that goes far beyond the actual numbers involved. The idea that people are coming in apparently at will — even if it’s a relatively small proportion of immigration to the UK — doesn’t exactly give the impression we’re in control, especially when people are washing up in dinghies.

“The only way to really tackle this problem is to tackle the pull factors, which is what the ideas around offshore processing and the presumption that if you cross illegally then your asylum applications are going to be treated less favourably than legal routes are about.”

The long-awaited legislation, dubbed the Nationality and Borders Bill, — set to be introduced by Home Secretary Priti Patel next week — will now reportedly include a clause to allow the government to hold asylum seekers in a third country.

The move has been modelled off of Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders policy from former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, which mandated that illegal migrants are sent back to their country of origin or to a third country for their asylum claims to be processed. The policy has effectively eliminated illegal boat migration to the country.

The UK has previously mooted similar plans, including sending migrants to the British overseas territories such as the South Atlantic islands of Ascension and St Helena. However, to date no such plan has been put into action. The previous plans have also been mocked in the liberal-leaning media.

The government is said to believe that should they partner with an EU nation, such as left wing Denmark, then criticism from leftist supporters of mass migration will be mollified. A photo-op with the UK and Danish governments is reportedly being planned in order to sell the plan to the public.

It comes as illegal boat migration in the English Channel has continued to hit record highs, with nearly six thousand aliens landing on British shores since the start of the year, more than double the number seen in last year’s banner year for illegal boat migration.

Denmark has been one of the leading voices in Western Europe against the mass migration ushered in during the Europe Migrant Crisis, with Social Democrat Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen calling for Syrian refugees to return to their native country in April.

In March, the Danish government also proposed legislation which would limit the number of migrants from non-Western countries in neighbourhoods to no more than thirty per cent in a bid to prevent the creation of a “two-tiered” society.

That same month, the government of Denmark set out rules prohibiting migrants from gaining citizenship if they have been convicted of a serious criminal offence.

The plan to partner with Denmark in establishing a migrant centre in Africa has already drawn considerable backlash from the left in the UK.

The leader of the Scottish National Party in the House of Commons, Ian Blackford wrote: “If [Priti Patel wants to send asylum seekers to Rwanda she will have a fight on her hands. Not in our name. We treat people with respect and dignity. This is inhumane in the extreme. Where is our humanity. This Tory Govt is prepared to engage in morally reprehensible behaviour.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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