The British government is reportedly studying a deportation agreement with Morocco, and four other African countries in case its controversial plan to send migrants on a one way ticket to Rwanda fails.
British media did not say if Rishi Sunak’s government is already in talks with Morocco to host asylum centers on its territory.
“I don’t think it would be right to go into specific countries. These are delicate arrangements as part of an ongoing process of work the government do, and you would expect it to … We’re still in discussions with many people,” British Home Office minister Sarah Dines told the Independent.
Morocco rejected a similar proposal made by the EU in 2018.
“Morocco is generally opposed to all kinds of centers. That is part of our migration policy and a national sovereign position,” Foreign Minister Bourita said in an interview he held with German national daily Die Welt.
Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia and Niger are also mentioned as possible homes of UK asylum centers, as the government’s Rwanda plan hit legal roadblocks after the Court of Appeal found it was “unlawful.”
The Supreme Court is expected to give a final ruling on the matter.
Under the initial Rwanda plan, the UK government said “anyone entering the UK illegally” after 1 January 2022 would be sent, with no limit on numbers.
In 2022, the UK received more than 89,000 asylum applications, the highest number for 20 years. Over 23,800 people were granted a form of protection.