surinenglish

Chief Minister: asylum-seeker reports are 'groundless'

Fabian Picardo. sur
Fabian Picardo. sur
  • Claims that the British Home Office was considering sending asylum-seekers to Gibraltar and elsewhere for processing were made in some UK media

The Gibraltar government was quick to refute claims in some UK media this week that the British Home Office was considering sending asylum-seekers to Gibraltar and elsewhere for processing.

In a statement issued hours after the story appeared, the government said it had received no such proposal from the UK, and that in any case: "Matters relating to immigration to and from Gibraltar are the responsibility of Ministers in Gibraltar under the 2006 Gibraltar Constitution. Gibraltar legislation (the Immigration, Asylum and Refuge Act) governs the presence of asylum seekers in Gibraltar, not UK law".

The chief minister, Fabian Picardo, also pointed out that apart from Constitutional and legal factors, Gibraltar's potential access to the Schengen area, which is still being negotiated, is an additional reason that it could not host the processing of asylum-seekers.