Hundreds of thousands of failed asylum seekers will be deported from Europe within weeks under secret plans leaked to The Times. Brussels will threaten to withdraw aid, trade deals and visa arrangements if countries such as Niger and Eritrea refuse to take back their economic migrants. The proposals also envisage EU states detaining thousands of migrants to prevent them from absconding to avoid deportation.
More than 400,000 people who entered the EU in the first half of this year are expected to have their asylum claims rejected, posing a humanitarian and political challenge for EU leaders. A draft diplomatic text to be discussed tomorrow by EU home office ministers, including Theresa May, warns that countries must send more migrants home. “Increased return rates should act as a deterrent to irregular migration,” it says.