Government votes down calls to change asylum and immigration reforms

Border Force: the government wants refugees picked up by these officials to be sent to a phenomenally expensive purpose-built site on Ascension Island. Lunacy.

The Conservative government has voted to support extremely expensive changes to the immigration and asylum system, in spite of objections from its own party.

Tory Andrew Mitchell said plans for an offshore processing system for asylum seekers – on Ascension Island, after bids to put one in Ghana, Rwanda, Albania and Denmark were all refused – were ridiculous.

He questioned how much such a policy would cost: “Judged by the costs of Australian offshoring the British taxpayer would face unprecedented costs per asylum seeker. It would be much cheaper to put each one in the The Ritz and send all the under-18s to Eton.”

David Davis previously described such a move as creating “a British Guantanamo Bay”.

Lords had removed the measure from the Nationality and Borders Bill last month, but MPs voted by 302 votes to 232, majority 70, to disagree with the Lords and put it back in.

A Lords amendment which sought to guarantee the UK takes in at least 10,000 refugees a year, which was rejected by 313 votes to 227 – a majority of 86 votes.

An attempt by peers to cut the time asylum seekers have to wait before they can work from 12 to six months was rejected by MPs by 291 votes to 232 – a majority of 59 votes – but the government did offer to meet concerned Tory MPs to discuss the issue further.

The legislation will now return to the Lords for peers to examine again in what is known as ‘parliamentary ping-pong’.

Source: Government sees off calls from some Tories to change asylum and immigrations reforms

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