Priti Patel has vowed to slow down visa applications from nations who are refusing to take back criminals and asylum seekers from the UK.
The Home Secretary plans to ‘impose visa penalties’ on countries who don’t ‘cooperate’ on deportations in a fresh crackdown on those who are ‘abusing our hospitality’.
She revealed Gambia will be first for the stricter measures after they ‘ignored’ calls and ‘only took four criminals’ back last year.
Meanwhile, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Cambodia and Vietnam are also under consideration for visa penalties after their records for taking back deportations were also low.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has vowed to slow down visa applications from nations who are refusing to take back criminals and asylum seekers from the UK
She revealed Gambia will be first for the stricter measures after they ‘ignored’ calls and ‘only took four criminals’ back last year. Meanwhile, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Cambodia and Vietnam are also under consideration for visa penalties after their records for taking back deportations were also low
Speaking to the The Sun on Sunday, she said: ‘Some countries do not cooperate on returns and so we will impose visa penalties on countries who refuse to take criminals back.
‘We rightly take back British citizens who commit crimes abroad and other countries do the same.’
The number of foreign criminals released from prison on to the streets reached a record high of almost 11,000.
Official figures show that at the end of June there were 10,882 foreign national offenders who had been released from jail but not deported.
All are subject to deportation because they were handed prison sentences of at least 12 months.
This comes as Ms Patel will be granted new powers to impose visa penalties on countries that do not cooperate on deportations, under new reforms in the Nationality and Borders Bill.
She will be able to suspend visas entirely, impose a £190 surcharge on applications to come to the UK or increase visa processing times – and aims to encourage other countries to cooperate with the UK government.
Meanwhile, Ministers are plotting to ease immigration restrictions that could help thousands of Indian citizens both live and work in the UK more easily in 2022.
The move is said to be a key point that could dominate trade talks that are due to commence between the two countries in Delhi later this month.
One senior government insider explained that ministers generally accepted that a ‘generous’ visa offer would be the necessary counterbalance in any trade talks.
Ms Trevelyan is said to be backed by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, but will likely face pressure from Home Secretary Priti Patel who does not support the move, reports the Times.
As part of trade talks between the UK and India immigration restrictions could be eased that would see thousands more Indian citizens more easily live and work in Britain. Pictured: Residents pictured in Katra, India
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (above) is said to back the plans that would see immigration curbs on Indians relaxed
As part of the plans, Indian citizens could be offered similar visa deal to those given to Australians – allowing young workers the right to live and work in Britain for up to three years.
Other mooted options include slashing visa fees for Indian students, and allowing them a temporary stay in the country after graduation.
Work and tourism visas – which at present can cost up to £1,400 – could also be cheapened in a move to sweeten the Delhi representatives.
A free trade agreement between both India and the UK would solidify a closer economic relationship between the pair, which began last May when a £1billion trade and investment deal was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
No 10 had said UK businesses had secured export deals worth more than £446million and was expected to create more than 400 jobs.
At the time, Mr Johnson said: ‘Each and every one of the more than 6,500 jobs announced today will help families and communities build back from coronavirus and boost the British and Indian economies.’
Both Mr Johnson and his counterpart Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to a ‘2030 Roadmap’ which they said will deliver a ‘quantum leap’ in relations during a virtual-meeting last Spring.
As an emerging market and one of the world’s most populous nations, India’s GDP (gross domestic product) stands at around £2 trillion despite not having a bilateral trade deal with the US or the EU.
Britain will be hoping its close ties with India could see it trump the rest of the world and secure an historic trade deal, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson promises to go ‘further and faster’ to push Britain ahead in a post-Brexit world.
Ministers agree that any agreement with Delhi would provide British businesses with a huge head start in what is anticipated to be the world’s third largest economy by 2050.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be hoping his efforts to charm Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November will help them on their way to positive trade talks
India, largely a protectionist economy that imposes significant tariffs on imports, has discussed the possibility to loosening those restrictions for British products, including whisky which can face import duties of up to 150 per cent.
However, the UK’s trade arm is said to view a more ambitious free-trade agreement that includes access to India’s burgeoning technology sector as its end goal.
A Department for International Trade spokesman said in a statement: ‘A free-trade agreement [with India] will open up huge opportunities for UK businesses.’
Mrs Truss is now taking over direct responsibility for post-Brexit trade talks following the dramatic resignation of Lord Frost.
The Foreign Secretary, a favourite of Tory grassroots activists, will take on the role of lead negotiator despite having campaigned on the Remain side during the referendum campaign.
The work will be on top of her present job – and her role as minister for women and equalities.
During her stint as International Trade Secretary, Miss Truss received praise for reaching deals with countries including Japan, and Australia. And despite having supported Remain in 2016, she says she would now vote for Brexit if the chance came again.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail