UK should 'adopt Australia's policy on crossings' says Downer
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Australia’s Former Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer has advised the UK to adopt his country’s policy of turning around migrant boats, arguing the move will stave demand away from people smugglers. He argued Australia’s experience of negotiating the return of migrants with Indonesia was similar to that of the UK and France. Mr Downer stresses that in the case of Australia, his Government had opted to return migrants despite protests from Indonesia and suggested the UK does the same, calling Emmanuel Macron’s stance ‘a scam.”
Mr Downer told Radio 4’s Today Programme: “We pushed them back into Indonesian waters, and I mean it is very analogous with what is happening now because the Indonesians object and said they did not like the practice and they regarded it as unacceptable and so on, but once we started doing it that was it.
“We did it against their will, I mean they didn’t want us to turn the boats back.”
Asked if the UK should adopt a similar policy, he said: “Look once the people smugglers realise they can’t deliver people to the destination the whole process will stop.
“Sending people back to France is not sending people back to the danger, of course, it is a perfectly safe country for them to live in.”
He went on to describe French policy on migrant crossings as a “scam.”
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