UK races to deport asylum seekers ahead of Brexit

6 December 2020: Guardian: UK races to deport asylum seekers ahead of Brexit

From January Britain can no longer return them to the EU, but the rush for the deadline may be denying them a proper screening

Scores of vulnerable asylum seekers, including suspected victims of trafficking, are scheduled to be deported this week as the home secretary Priti Patel ramps up removal operations ahead of Brexit.

Three flights this week, two to Germany and one to France, with possible transfers to Austria, Poland, Spain and Lithuania, are planned amid opposition from campaigners who say they have evidence that cases are being “rushed” through to avoid Patel’s own published policy on identifying trafficking victims.

The development comes days after Patel branded those calling for last week’s deportation flight to Jamaica to be stopped as “do-gooding celebrities”, a label that prompted victims of the Windrush scandal to describe the home secretary as “deeply insulting and patronising”.Advertisement

Groups monitoring the impending round of flights to the EU say that the Home Office’s planned operation to remove potential trafficking and torture victims without proper screening is unlawful and breaches a recent interim high court order.

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