Patel blasted for ‘making it up as she goes along’ – Davis bashes ‘expensive’ migrant plan

Migrant crisis: Pearsall comments on asylum application backlog

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The Home Office has been bashed for pushing out “macho-sounding” plans to curb the number of migrants arriving by sea in the UK. The department’s policies to reduce Channel crossings have been criticised by some former ministers who branded them as “unworkable” and “impractical”.

The ministers refer to the latest in a series of proposals launched by Priti Patel’s department.

On Thursday, Government proposals were leaked to the media that indicated ministers were holding discussions with Albania to form an agreement that would see asylum seekers who had crossed the Channel being flown to the eastern European country, 1,500 miles away, to be processed offshore.

Qirjako Qirko, Albanian ambassador to the UK, told The Independent that the reports were “totally fake” and that such an arrangement would “never happen” because it would be “against international law”.

Despite this, former ministers were quick to scrutinise the Home Secretary and her department for the “fundamentally flawed” scheme.

David Davis, Conservative MP for Haltemprice and Howden, took to Twitter to express his dismay over plans, referring to them as both “expensive” and “flawed”.

Writing to his 181.4k followers, Mr Davis wrote: “Offshoring Channel migrants would be expensive, ineffective, and simply unworkable.

“This macho-sounding policy is fundamentally flawed.

“The Government needs to seriously rethink this aspect of the Nationality and Borders Bill.”

Mr Davis served as shadow immigration minister for the Conservatives from 2003 to 2008.

He told The Independent he believed his party was “underestimating the intelligence of voters” by floating “unworkable” policies.

He claims the floating of the policies is “patronising”.

He also claims the Government’s “very firm and strong language” around the Channel crossings had “increased the size of the political issue”.

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A further blow came from Lord David Blunkett, who said Ms Patel was “making it up as she goes along” when it came to asylum policies.

Lord Blunkett, who served as Home Secretary between 2001 and 2004 under Tony Blair, claims her ideas “were explored 20 years ago” and added that “none of them added up to either a practical or coherent plan”.

An unnamed former senior immigration official in the Home Office also chimed in on the recent Albania proposal, describing it as “utterly impractical and ludicrous”.

They described the plan as “headline-grabbing”, claiming that the failed plan “makes them [the people in the Home Office] look stupid”.

He added: “It comes out with mad proposals that try to move the story on in their favour for a week or so, then cause them more problems in the long term.

“It’s complete and utter madness.

“It’s impractical, and I can’t believe people don’t know it wouldn’t work.”

The unnamed individual also claims the plan would gratify some backbenchers but added that he would hope they too would realise the plans are “unworkable”.

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