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Confusion over plan to speed up deportation of Albanian migrants as lawyers reveal doesn’t apply to asylum seekers
- A deal has been struck with Tirana to return migrants traveling across the Channel
- But UK government lawyers said the measures don’t apply to asylum seekers
- The details emerged in response to legal action by migrant charity Care4Calais
PLANS to speed up Albanian small boat migrants from the UK were confused last night.
The interior ministry last month announced a deal with Tirana to send Albanians home as soon as possible after crossing the Channel from northern France.
But UK government lawyers have now revealed that the measures will not apply to those who apply for asylum.
The details came out in response to legal action by migrant charity Care4Calais, which is already involved in a separate challenge against the government’s plan to give asylum seekers a one-way ticket to Rwanda. A letter to the charity’s lawyers from the government’s legal department said of the rapid plans for Albania: “The arrangements do not apply to asylum seekers.”
Clare Moseley of Care4Calais said: ‘The government has made a big climb down. They accept that people from Albania have the right to apply for asylum and to be heard fairly.’
The interior ministry last month announced a deal with Tirana to send Albanians home as soon as possible after crossing the Channel from northern France
But interior ministry insiders said they were not impressed with the development. A source said: ‘Most Albanians who come to the UK don’t apply for asylum – they don’t want to face the possibility of being deported to Rwanda. Instead, most use other tactics to frustrate the moving process.”
The fast-track arrangement will still apply to Channel arrivals who make unfounded claims that they are victims of modern slavery, that much is clear. A spokesman for the Home Office said Albanians who have no right to be in the UK include rejected asylum seekers, foreign offenders and those staying too long in the UK.
Care4Calais is also involved in a judicial review that is questioning the legality of the Rwanda deal.
Yesterday (MON) it was revealed that the legal proceedings against the Rwanda settlement are expected to delay it for up to a year.