Hints in British media that Channel migrants will be sent to Albania are “fake news”, according to the Albanian government.
The Times, Britain’s ad hoc newspaper of record, published an article on Thursday morning headlined ‘Migrants to be held in Albania’ which quoted government sources as saying that the odds of a deal with Muslim-majority Albania to hold boat migrants for “offshore processing” of their asylum claims were “looking good”.
The article suggested that ballpark costs of £100,000 per migrant had already been calculated, and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab even appeared on LBC radio to declare that he would “make no apology” for “trying to look” at offshore processing with “international partners” — as if some sort of robust action really was imminent.
However, as with many of the government’s tough public statements about pushing boats back and deporting illegal aliens with no right to asylum to end the Channel migrant crisis, it appears no such action will be taken, with the Albanian prime minister having gone out of his way to make it clear that offshore processing in his country “will never happen”.
In comments on Albanian television, Prime Minister Edi Rama was unequivocal that “Albania will never be a country where very rich countries will set up camps for their refugees. Never,” while his foreign minister said that any hints in the media that such a scheme was on the cusp of being agreed were just “old fake news”.
Presciently, Migration Watch UK director Dr Ben Greening had told Breitbart London before the Albanian position became clear that the British public would be “understandably sceptical about this news.”
“We have all been treated to eye-catching soundbites from anonymous sources before, only to be let down when push comes to shove time and again,” he noted.
UK Govt Returns Just FIVE out of More than 23,000 Illegal Boat Migrants to EU https://t.co/lpKH81gppC
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 18, 2021
The public rebuff will come as an embarrassment to the Tories and, in particular, Home Secretary Priti Patel, with the Channel crisis first having been declared a “major incident” all the way back in 2018 and claims that action to end it is right around the corner proving bogus time and time again, with the daily influx hitting new record highs on a regular basis.
Perhaps anticipating the positive news coverage about boat migrants being sent to Albania would not survive for long, Deputy Prime Minister Raab had given himself some wiggle room when he commented on the supposed plan, telling LBC that he was “not commenting on… individual countries,” that “a lot of these discussions are at a preliminary stage,” and that the government was talking to “much more than just one partner”.
The Times‘s article did note that “Denmark is in talks with Rwanda to host a processing centre, and the British government has considered sharing it” — but similar stories about an African offshore processing centre were peddled in the British press as far back as June and still appear to be nothing but wishful thinking.
Indeed, Brexit leader Nigel Farage, who was at the forefront of the Channel crisis’ early coverage, confidently predicted at the time that an African offshore processing centre would “never happen” and gifted Priti Patel the sobriquet “Priti Useless”.
Australia pioneered the model for preventing boat migrant landings as far back as 2013, going for years without a single successful arrival after introducing its “zero tolerance” Operation Sovereign Borders policy.
Despite the decisive impact of simply turning boats back or sending migrants overseas for processing, the British government has shied away from such action, with activists claiming it is forbidden by international law regardless of Australia having set the example already.
"We’re all human beings, we’re all mammals, we’re all rocks, plants, rivers. Bloody borders are just such a pain in the bloody ass," said the chief of Britain's Border Force – which may explain why illegal immigration has been getting worse for years https://t.co/hDfmFPliJ3
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 14, 2021