Asylum: Ascension Island

Home Office written question – answered on 15th October 2020.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have abandoned any proposals to move applicants for asylum in the UK to Ascension Island; what other proposals for the movement of such applicants to other countries are still under consideration; and whether they will place a copy of any documentation relating to such proposals in the Library of the House.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

The UK has a long and proud history of providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with our international obligations. Tens of thousands of people have rebuilt their lives in the UK and we will continue to provide safe and legal routes for the vulnerable to do so in the future.

Meanwhile, we have seen unprecedented numbers of journeys to the UK by small boat in 2020, which are both dangerous and facilitated by criminals, and so we are determined to render these journeys unviable.

The Department has been developing plans to reform our illegal migration and asylum policies to ensure we are able to provide protection to those who need it whilst preventing abuse of the system and the criminality associated with it.

As part of this, we have explored likeminded states’ responses to similar situations in order to consider the various options that exist for deterring people from undertaking these dangerous journeys, exploring a range of options, including those that have been employed by other countries in similar situations. No decisions have been made by Ministers and we continue to work to find the right approach for the UK.

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