Australian migrant model may not work in the UK says expert
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Former rear admiral Dr Chris Parry spoke to Express.co.uk about the potential of the Australian refugee model being copied in the UK. MPs have touted the Australian model as a good way to tackle the rising number of migrant crossings in the Channel as Home Secretary Priti Patel has vowed to get tough on France to prevent boats landing illegally in the UK. But Dr Parry agreed the model works for Australia but had doubts on whether it could be implemented in the UK because of geography.
The Australian Government promised to crack down on people smuggling into Australia from China and other East Asian countries as the country saw a surge in illegal immigrants entering the country.
New powers and rules were put in place to tackle the issue which includes the transfer of asylum seekers to Nauru and Manus Island to be processed and detained.
Migrants would also be permanently be banned from settling in Australia if found to enter illegally and authorities could forcibly turn back boats to their country of origin if safe to do so.
Despite garnering criticism for the heavyhanded approach, politicians in Europe have long heralded the model as a solution to the EU’s refugee crisis as Afghanistan falls to the Taliban once more.
Dr Parry told Express.co.uk that the Australian model is a system the UK may seek to learn from but implementing it may be trickier than first thought.
He explained: “The Australian model certainly works, there are differences though.
“I mean the English Channel isn’t very wide, the distance between the migratory countries and Australia is huge.
“Australia also has a large number of offshore territories it can use to process people.
“So I think, in theory, the model works and also of course they say if you’re caught trying to get into Australia illegally you’ll never get in.
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“So, that has deterred people, it definitely works there’s no question about that.
“If we can implement that here given current legislation and indeed the practicalities of a very short crossing, I doubt.
“What I do believe in, though, is we should be processing people offshore whether that’s on an island.
“I would not like to say which of our islands is the lucky one.
“I’ve suggested in the past that we use ferries and cruise liners that are not in employment at the moment.
“All you have to do when you rescue people at sea is take them to a safe place it doesn’t say take them to Kent.
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“So there’s all sorts of practical ways in which we can do that, whether the country is ready to say to people if you’re caught trying to enter the country illegally you’ll never get here is a matter for people and politicians to sign.
“We’ve seen it work in the Australian case that’s for sure.”
Priti Patel has warned France she will withhold £54million worth of funding from the neighbouring country if they refuse to address the growing number of Channel migrant crossings.
The minister said unless France stops three out of four crossings then she will waste no time withholding funds.
According to The Sun, Ms Patel said: “We’ve not given them a penny of the money so far and France is going to have to get its act together if it wants to see the cash.
“It’s payment by results and we’ve not seen those results. The money is conditional.”
The UK sends millions of pounds to France to help bolster security on its northern beaches to prevent migrant crossings.
But footage emerged of French boats escorting migrants to UK waters before leaving them there for Border Force or the RNLI to pick up.
On August 21, a record 828 migrants entered the UK as the daily totals begin to slowly increase.
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