‘Inappropriate’ to say if Sark on list as centre to process asylum seekers

IT WOULD be inappropriate to comment on whether Sark was being considered by the UK for an asylum processing centre, the Home Office has said.

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Liberal Democrat Lord Jones wrote to ask the UK Government what assessment it had made of using five different areas as locations for asylum processing centres, one of which was Sark.

Home Officer minister Baroness Williams said that officials has been looking at a whole host of measures other countries deploy to inform a plan for the UK and bring innovation to the system.

‘As part of this they are consulting with stakeholders and ensuring those plans adhere to our Policy Assurance Framework, but no final proposals have been made and it would not be appropriate to comment on speculation,’ she said.

Illegal immigration has been a complex issue for successive governments, she said.

‘For years people have risked their lives to enter our country illegally, like those crossing the Channel in dangerous small boats.

‘The Home Office will introduce a new system that is firm and fair, prosecuting criminals while protecting vulnerable individuals.’

The other locations raised by Lord Jones were Steep Holm and Flatholm [islands in the Bristol Channel], Canvey Island and the Isle of Dogs.

Reports have suggested various schemes being considered by the Home Office include processing asylum seekers in disused ferries moored off the coast, while it has also been claimed the UK is looking at sending migrants to centres in Papua New Guinea, Moldova, Morocco or even the Isle of Man.

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