ENTERTAINMENT

On the Isle of Wight, “hostels” could be set up for migrants as part of offshoring proposals


Asylum processing centers could be built on the Isle of Wight, the Shetlands or the Isle of Man, as it became known yesterday.

The new offshoring proposal, which may also include asylum hostels on other remote Scottish islands, is part of Priti Patel's overarching program to tackle the English Channel's migrant crisis.

As part of a parallel project, which is also being examined by the government, asylum seekers coming to Great Britain could be flown to processing centers in Morocco, Moldova or Papua New Guinea.

Downing Street is the driving force behind proposals to detain refugees in offshore detention centers and has asked officials to examine the possibility of sending asylum seekers abroad.

Official documents marked "Sensitive" issued earlier this month summarize advice from Foreign Office officials who Downing Street asked "advice on possible options for negotiating an offshore asylum processing facility similar to the Australian model in Papua New Guinea "to give and Nauru & # 39 ;.

Home Office officials were also tasked with carrying out feasibility studies for the hostel centers on islands in the British Isles. It emerged yesterday that officials had previously tried to locate a center on Ascension Island or St. Helena, which is thousands of miles away in the South Atlantic.

However, using such distant British overseas territories has been deemed impractical due to cost and logistical problems. Proposals are now being drawn up for asylum centers on islands close to home.

Migrants would be processed on decommissioned ferries that were moored offshore as part of the plans under consideration.

Another option is to buy retired ferries and convert them to asylum processing centers.

Marina with boats on the Solent in East Cowes, Isle of Wight. Migrants landing in the UK could be flown to hostels on the island

Migrants are currently being housed in the Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, which has been converted for them

Migrants are currently being housed in the Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, which has been converted for them

New proposals are part of Priti Patel's overarching program to combat the migrant crisis in the English Channel

New proposals are part of Priti Patel's overarching program to combat the migrant crisis in the English Channel

Boris Johnson reportedly wants to deter migrants from using the proposals to make dangerous crossings from France.

Meanwhile, the Times was told that the Home Office had discussions about the relocation of migrants to decommissioned oil rigs in the North Sea

Ministers ruled that this was a "no go" but the plan to get migrants on board ships is seen as more realistic and is being seriously considered.

It is understood that Miss Patel believes the processing centers would deter migrants hoping to settle in UK cities. "Offshoring is still in scope and the policy has yet to be decided," a government source said.

“But we're looking at all possible ways to stop the small boats in the canal, and offshoring is part of that. In terms of locations, you can look at the Shetlands, Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, and these type of areas.

"There are also many small islands in Scotland."

The source added: 'This is all pretty low down and it won't be an overnight thing. It will also require changes in legislation. And if we were to build anything in one of these places, we would have to make sure that there were adequate services and accommodation for asylum seekers who are sent there. & # 39;

The source said that any shelter built on an island would not come in the form of secure detention centers. "We don't detain asylum seekers, they can come and go," he said.

After it became known last month that a former World War II barracks in Folkestone, Kent, was being used by the government to house up to 400 asylum seekers.

The opening of the camp should send a discouraging message to anyone contemplating crossing the canal illegally. The sparse conditions are very different from the comfortable accommodation with a weekly entry surcharge of £ 40 that some migrants received on arrival in the UK.

A group of people believed to be migrants are being transferred from the Border Force to Dover, Kent, after a small boat incident in the Canal yesterday

A group of people believed to be migrants are being transferred from the Border Force to Dover, Kent, after a small boat incident in the Canal yesterday

As part of a parallel project, which is also being examined by the government, asylum seekers coming to Great Britain could be flown to processing centers in Morocco, Moldova or Papua New Guinea

As part of a parallel project, which is also being examined by the government, asylum seekers coming to the UK could be flown to processing centers in Morocco, Moldova or Papua New Guinea

Gibraltar, another British overseas territory, had been excluded as a location because it was too small.

The source added, “We are looking into what other countries are doing about offshoring asylum applications and what would be appropriate for us. Government departments, including the Foreign Office, have been asked to consider options.

& # 39; Ascension Island was one of the places they came up with. However, the interior minister does not consider the location to be feasible.

"Offshoring has already been proposed by the Tony Blair administration." It is unclear how a self-governing asylum facility for the Home Office could be set up in the Isle of Man.

Separately, leaked documents labeled "sensitive" indicated that Downing Street, on direct suggestion from the Prime Minister, asked the Foreign Office to consider processing centers in Morocco, Moldova and Papua New Guinea.

The three countries were specially "flown" by No. 10, The Guardian reported. However, the Foreign Office identified a number of diplomatic and practical problems with the plan.