David Davis on Migrant Overseas Processing: 2004 Versus Today



David Davis on Migrant Overseas Processing: 2004 Versus Today


The fallout from last week’s Rwanda announcement continues into this week, with a couple of eyebrow-raising interventions in the papers. A letter in The Times from one of Sir Keir’s Doughty Street chums, James Wood QC, claims to have come up with a new migrant strategy for the Home Office. He writes:

“Sir, One solution to tackle trafficking would be to have undercover officers in Calais pretending to be seeking to travel across the Channel. The tactic is frequently deployed in the fight against drugs and is known as a “test purchase”. Perhaps Priti Patel could try that before wasting taxpayers’ money on outsourcing detention contracts to Rwandan businessmen.”

Wood’s solution of undeclared operations in an allied country – something that is implied to be completely novel and not already carried out by French police – has been met with derision in Whitehall. Genius…

In other fall-out, David Davis takes to the Times Red Box this morning calling the plan an “abuse” of “hard-won Brexit freedoms”:

“But the plan is fraught with practical problems, beset by moral dilemmas and hamstrung by extortionate costs. And outsourcing our international obligations are certainly not the freedoms that Brexit was about winning.”

One co-conspirator with a keen memory, however, refers Guido back to David Davis’s 2004 Tory conference speech, when the then-Shadow Home Secretary called for the next Conservative government to, “push ahead with reforms to our asylum system, with a system of overseas processing.” Awkward…

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