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School of Politics and International Relations

Shipping asylum seekers offshore may boost Priti Patel’s hardline image, but Australian example shows it’s not a policy that works


Andonea Jon Dickson from the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London has written an article for the Conversation on how the UK government looks to Australia for inspiration on how to clamp down on immigration. It has been reported that the home secretary, Priti Patel, has plans to send migrants who arrive in the UK via the English Channel to islands in the Atlantic. While Downing Street later pushed back on the idea of using the far-flung territories of Ascension Island and St Helena as sites of immigration detention, the Financial Times reported that it was nevertheless considering offshore immigration processing sites. Jon Dickson writes: “The idea of introducing an ‘Australian-style points-based immigration system’ has long been touted as the goal in post-Brexit Britain. Ministers now also appear to be looking with admiration at Australia’s policy of turning back asylum seekers at sea and introducing offshore immigration detention.”

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