EU Countries Snub Priti Patel’s Plans to Return Asylum Seekers

London: Not a single European country has decided to support the UK government’s controversial asylum plans, with the UN on Saturday night criticising the proposals as so damaging they risked Britain’s “global credibility”. Six weeks after the home secretary, Priti Patel, unveiled a sweeping immigration overhaul that included deporting migrants who enter the UK illegally to safe countries such as “France and other EU countries”, sources have said the Home Office has been unable to persuade any European state to sign up to the scheme. The UN’s refugee agency will soon publish its detailed legal opinion into Patel’s asylum proposals that is likely to conclude her plans infringe international legislation and are unworkable. Despite this, Patel’s asylum proposals are to feature in the Queen’s speech on Tuesday, which lays out the government’s legislative agenda for the next year.

Yet the complete lack of any bilateral European agreements to return migrants from the UK, alongside a warning from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that the Home Office proposals risk undermining longstanding global agreements to offer protection to refugees, already casts doubt on its future. Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, UNHCR representative to the UK, told the Observer that the UK’s plans threatened the integrity of the UN refugee convention – which the UK government helped write in 1951 – and which seeks to protect individuals fleeing persecution or catastrophe.

Read more: Amrk Townsend, Guardian,

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