Mugland always with us

On a flight from Cairo to New York a note was found in the lavatory saying: “I set this plane on fire”.  The Boeing 777 aircraft was then escorted by two RAF Typhoon jets to Prestwick where it was held for six hours to the huge discomfort and inconvenience of the passengers.

During this six hours, five passengers on the plane who are Syrian nationals claimed asylum, and will remain in Britain while their claims are investigated by the UK Border Agency.

What a racket there is in prospect!  The UN Convention on Refugees requires asylum claimants to make their claims in the nearest safe country – in this case either Egypt, where these five already were, or the USA, where the flight was bound.  Knowing, as all actual and potential asylum claimants round the world do, that once on British soil the British courts and the various levels of immigration tribunals will rarely if ever send asylum seekers back where they came from, in this case Egypt, these five have, at the very least exploited a heaven-sent opportunity, or have even written the note themselves to be discovered when the plane was in British airspace.  Either way it will give thousands of would-be claimants yet another way into Britain.

How to stop it

The simple things are:

(1)  exclude the physical space between the plane and immigration control from the jurisdiction of the British courts where foreign nationals are concerned (just as the space between immigration and the entrance to the Channel Tunnel is under French jurisdiction on the British side);

(2) do not consider any asylum claims where the claimant has already been in another safe country or is en route to one (see “More Immigration Nonsense from Damian Green”, 29th May 2012, “More obedience training for the Cameron government”, 21st February 2012, and Ageing Albion’s comments);

(3)  remove all legal aid from asylum cases.

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