Albanian ministers ‘say their compatriots are gaming the system by crossing the Channel to seek asylum in Britain’
Albanian ministers have admitted that their citizens who come to Britain on small boats are “gaming the system”.
A delegation from Tirana yesterday endorsed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s legislation to address the Canal crisis.
At a high-level meeting it was heard that Albanian citizens were making an ongoing effort to exploit immigration laws in Europe, with Britain currently a main focus.
Interior Minister Suella Braverman met with Albanian Interior Minister Bledar Cuci, who indicated that his compatriots were “gaming with the system,” a government source said.
They added: “The minister said he was a big supporter of the ‘stop the ships’ bill and that it was badly needed… He would stop his fellow countrymen playing the UK system.”
Almost 13,000 Albanians crossed the English Channel in small boats last year, up from just 800 in the previous 12 months (file image)
The Albanian interior minister told Interior Minister Suella Braverman that her compatriots were “gaming the system,” a government source said.
“He said that the Albanians are very smart and that they find ways to circumvent the systems of the countries and they have done it all over Europe, in France and others. Now they are in the UK and the bill would stop that.”
Nearly 13,000 Albanians crossed the English Channel in small boats last year, up from 800 in the previous 12 months.
Many apply under Britain’s asylum regime or under the rules of ‘modern slavery’.
Figures released earlier this month showed claims for modern slavery hit a record high last year, buoyed by a sharp rise in Albanian claims.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama (left) during a meeting on March 23.
The Albanian minister’s comments come after the ambassador to Britain admitted that immigrants from his country were “pretending” to be victims of modern slavery.
Qirjako Qirko said in December that many Albanians who cross the English Channel in small boats are “just economic migrants.”
It comes as immigrants suspected of pretending to be children could be forced to undergo X-ray tests to determine their age under proposals being considered.
Amendments to the Illegal Migration Bill would allow age tests to go ahead even if an asylum seeker refused to consent.