The Home Secretary Rt Hon Priti Patel MP has confirmed that Gibraltar has not even been considered as part of any plans to reform UK asylum policy and that this position will not change.
This assurance was received yesterday in response to an earlier letter from the Chief Minister late last week that followed a story in the UK media to the effect that Gibraltar, along with other UK Overseas Territories or Crown Dependencies were being considered for centres where asylum seekers would be processed.
The Home Secretary also took the opportunity to affirm the strength of the relationship between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar Governments and agreed that it would be good to meet Mr Picardo in person once the restrictions allow.
The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, said: ‘I am very pleased to have received these assurances from the Home Secretary, Rt Hon Priti Patel, herself. I had previously also had a clear indication in the same terms from the Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Dominic Raab. This clarity is very helpful and will put an end to the speculation that Gibraltar might in any way have been considered for the purpose of the processing of applicants for asylum to the United Kingdom. Gibraltar’s circumstances make it impossible for us to assist, as part of the British family of nations, in this respect. I will very much look forward to seeing the Home Secretary in London when travel restrictions are no longer applicable.’