When, days later, more leaks revealed plans to build immigration centres on disused ferries, processing asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea and using wave machines to push dinghies back to the French coast, as well as “floating walls” in the Channel, they were again high on the news agenda.
Was this Priti Patel’s big – albeit arguably inhumane – plan to curb the surge in small boat crossings starting to come together?
The answer was no. All of the proposals quickly fell flat on their face. They were branded “illegal, expensive and illogical” by immigration experts, former civil servants and politicians – and ministers soon had to admit that they had no basis of actually coming to fruition.
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