Austria looks to UK for 'Rwanda-style' plan to outsource asylum applications

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Austrian Interior Minister, Vienna, 2 November 2023
UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Austrian Interior Minister, Vienna, 2 November 2023 Copyright British Government
By Euronews
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Britain's Conservative government has long harboured plans to process asylum applications in Rwanda, but the courts have ruled it unlawful.


The British and Austrian governments have signed a new deal to work more closely to combat migration, as Vienna looks to set up a 'Rwanda-style' system for processing asylum applications. 

Speaking in the Austrian capital on Wednesday, Britain's Home Secretary Suella Braverman said that Britain and Austria "shared challenges to protect our borders, defeat extremism and keep our people safe." 

Under a Rwanda-style plan, Austria wants to process asylum seekers in a third country before deciding whether to let them come to Europe or not. 

Chancellor Chancellor Karl Nehammer is facing an election next year amid growing calls to tighten immigration, and in September he said that third-country processing was a possibility, to ensure that failed asylum seekers would "no longer be able to go into hiding in the EU or apply for asylum in several European countries at the same time.”

Last year, the Danish government paved the way for a deal with Rwanda for a similar scheme but since the general election the government has not moved forward with the plan. 

The UK's Conservative government has long harboured ambitions to outsource asylum applications to Rwanda, and became the first European country to strike a deal to pay the African nation more than €140 million per year to take asylum seekers. 

Under the scehem, anyone granted asylum would then continue to live in Rwanda, while those who were refused would be deported back to their country of origin. 

In June this year the UK's Court of Appeal ruled that the plan was unlawful, deciding that Rwanda could not be considered a safe third country.

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