Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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UK to share experience with Austria on outsourcing asylum applications

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman will travel to Austria on Thursday to share her experience of transferring asylum claims to third countries.

Austria is pushing for the referral of asylum claims to third countries, something the UK is currently doing as part of a deal with Rwanda that has caused much public controversy.

Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner told the Austrian Press Agency APA ahead of the meeting:

“Great Britain has great experience when it comes to conducting asylum procedures outside of Europe in the future.”

The idea has been gaining momentum recently, and Germany is also considering a similar approach. Because “more and more countries are following the Austrian line,” as the Austrian Interior Ministry noted on Tuesday:

“Extended third-country cooperation should also be able to be implemented with the asylum and migration pact. We will continue to work consistently to ensure that the EU Commission pushes such asylum procedures outside Europe and thus makes them possible.”

The deal between the UK and Rwanda is of particular interest to Austria and could serve as an example for the EU, the Home Office added.

Under the new scheme, people identified by the UK as illegal migrants or asylum seekers can be deported to Rwanda to have their applications processed. If their application is successful, they would be granted asylum there and would not be able to come to the UK. The plan is considered highly controversial as the UK Supreme Court is currently considering its legality after the Court of Appeal ruled it unlawful.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to stop small boats carrying refugees from France to the UK, the number of which has soared this year.

According to British government figures, 45,755 people were recorded arriving in the UK on small boats in 2022. The total number of arrivals in 2022 was 60 per cent higher than in 2021.


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