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Austria follows Britain example in setting up its own Rwanda-style scheme

Austria has approved a scheme to deport asylum seekers to a third country, following the model of Rwanda, according to GB News.

Suella Braverman, head of the UK Home Office, signed a migration and security agreement with Vienna on Thursday. It is the first EU country to agree to work closely with the UK, with Austria opting to stick to a “third country” asylum scheme. Under the Austrian scheme, migrants deported to a third country will be able to return to Austria if their asylum claims are successful.

Rwanda’s £140m deportation scheme is different. Under this scheme, migrants are deported on a one-way ticket. This can only be stopped if they can prove it will cause them “serious and irreversible harm”.

Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman are pushing for European countries to reform international asylum agreements, including the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Austria is also calling on the EU to adopt a “third country” scheme as a huge flow of migrants has surged across the Mediterranean Sea and the country’s eastern borders. Gerhard Karner, Austria’s interior minister, said:

The UK has a lot of experience when it comes to processing asylum applications outside of Europe in the future. That was an important theme in my meeting with the Home Secretary in Vienna because Austria can benefit from this experience. We will continue to make a consistent effort for the EU Commission to advance and enable such procedures outside of Europe.

Austria has a strict migration policy – Vienna has the power to turn around asylum seekers at the Austrian border and send them to Serbia. Suella Braverman claimed:

The global migration crisis is the challenge of our age, with the UK and the European continent seeing huge movements of people travelling illegally across our borders. This is placing an unprecedented burden on our communities and public services. Austria is a close ally in tackling illegal migration, and we have already begun sharing knowledge of our actions and strategies such as third country removals.“This joint statement is a commitment to work more closely together to achieve our aims, and enhance our cooperation on a wide range of security challenges.

Austria’s neighbor, Germany, is considering setting up a Rwandan-style immigration centre as 300,000 people are expected to apply for refugee status by the end of the year. The radical right-wing Alternative Party is gaining momentum after it called for migrants to be processed at offshore centres in Africa. Support for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is growing, with its share in polls consistently above 20 per cent.

With many local authorities saying they can no longer cope with the incoming migrants, Scholz’s coalition partners have proposed building asylum centres outside Europe.

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