Refugees who arrive over the English Channel in small boats are set to be electronically tagged and will face prosecution if they fail to comply (Pictured: migrants brought into the Port of Dover this evening)
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Refugees who arrive over the English Channel in small boats are set to be electronically tagged and will face prosecution if they fail to comply, under new proposals from the Home Office.

The 12-month pilot scheme will see those who arrive in Britain via dangerous or ‘unnecessary’ routes fitted with tags. However, this may potentially include refugees who are victims of torture and trafficking.

First on the list to be tagged are the 130 who were due to be on the first deportation flight to Rwanda before it was stopped by a last-minute intervention from European judges.

The approach has been dubbed ‘punitive’ and ‘draconian’ by left-wing campaigners, who argue that those fleeing to Britain for safety are being treated like ‘criminals’.

Critics also insist there is ‘no concrete evidence’ the measures will lead to improved compliance, The Independent reports.

Refugees who arrive over the English Channel in small boats are set to be electronically tagged and will face prosecution if they fail to comply (Pictured: migrants brought into the Port of Dover this evening)

Refugees who arrive over the English Channel in small boats are set to be electronically tagged and will face prosecution if they fail to comply (Pictured: migrants brought into the Port of Dover this evening)

The 12-month pilot scheme will see those who arrive in Britain via dangerous or 'unnecessary' routes fitted with tags (Pictured: migrants brought into the Port of Dover this evening)

The 12-month pilot scheme will see those who arrive in Britain via dangerous or ‘unnecessary’ routes fitted with tags (Pictured: migrants brought into the Port of Dover this evening)

The approach has been dubbed 'punitive' and 'draconian' by left-wing campaigners, who argue that those fleeing to Britain for safety are being treated like 'criminals' (Pictured: migrants brought into the Port of Dover this evening)

The approach has been dubbed ‘punitive’ and ‘draconian’ by left-wing campaigners, who argue that those fleeing to Britain for safety are being treated like ‘criminals’ (Pictured: migrants brought into the Port of Dover this evening)

A pilot gestures from the grounded Rwanda deportation flight at Boscombe Down Air Base on Tuesday

A pilot gestures from the grounded Rwanda deportation flight at Boscombe Down Air Base on Tuesday

The new rules will stipulate that those on electronic tag must comply with any directions from the Home Office

The new rules will stipulate that those on electronic tag must comply with any directions from the Home Office

Asylum seekers may be detained and removed if tagging conditions are breached, the Home Office guidance states.

Chief executive of the Refugee Council Enver Solomon said: ‘It’s appalling that this government is intent on treating men, women and children who have fled war, bloodshed and persecution as criminals.

‘This draconian and punitive approach not only shows no compassion for very vulnerable people it will also do nothing to deter those who are desperately seeking safety in the UK.’

The new rules will stipulate that those on electronic tag must comply with any directions from the Home Office, at specified periods of time.

Conditions could include a curfew or an exclusion zone around a determined area if necessary.

It follows a difficult week for the Government, which faced criticism across the political divide after a plane destined to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda ended up ground following last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights.

The 130 asylum seekers who had originally been earmarked for the flight are understood to be first on the list for electronic tagging.

Protesters gathered outside Colnbrook Immigration Detention Centre in Heathrow and lay on the ground in an effort to halt Tuesday's flight - which was later ground after legal wrangling

Protesters gathered outside Colnbrook Immigration Detention Centre in Heathrow and lay on the ground in an effort to halt Tuesday’s flight – which was later ground after legal wrangling

A convoy believed to be carrying asylum seekers leaves MOD Boscombe Down on Tuesday after a private charter jet grounded just before it was due for take-off to Rwanda

A convoy believed to be carrying asylum seekers leaves MOD Boscombe Down on Tuesday after a private charter jet grounded just before it was due for take-off to Rwanda

A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘We will keep as many people in detention as the law allows but where a court orders that an individual due to be on Tuesday’s flight should be released, we will tag them where appropriate.’

The plan deportation to Rwanda last Thursday came to a grinding halt after an out-of-hours European Court of Human Rights judge made the 11th hour intervention, informing the crew that the Boeing 767 could not take off as scheduled from MOD Boscombe Down, Salisbury, as the clock ticked down to 10.30pm.

Although it was widely reported just seven migrants were due to be removed from the United Kingdom last Tuesday, defiant ministers had earlier insisted the flight would go ahead even if there is only one person on board. 

But in a late twist, all asylum seekers due to be removed on the first plane to the capital of Kigali disembarked from the plane ahead of departure, giving the first confirmation that the flight would not be going ahead.

The drastic development sets ministers on collision course with the Strasbourg court, which is part of the Council of Europe and separate from the European Union.

A soldier carries a child nearby a woman coming off the boat in Dover on Tuesday

A soldier carries a child nearby a woman coming off the boat in Dover on Tuesday

Inflatable boats are towed into the marina this week after a group of people are brought in to Dover

Inflatable boats are towed into the marina this week after a group of people are brought in to Dover

The High Court is also due to hold a judicial review in July to decide on the legality of the Rwanda scheme. 

A Downing Street source said: ‘It’s an abomination that after domestic courts have repeatedly ruled in the Government’s favour, that an out-of-hours judge in the European Court has intervened to block the removal of illegal migrants to Rwanda.’

The Rwanda charter aircraft is thought to have cost to the taxpayer up to £500,000. To add to the fury within Whitehall, it appears at this moment the Home Office has no means of challenging the European court’s decision. 

Despite the last-ditch legal challenge a Rwandan government source, speaking to ITV, insisted they remained ‘undeterred’ and ‘committed to making the partnership work’.

Meanwhile, Ms Patel issued a strongly-worded rebuttal of the Strasbourg judge’s ruling, saying she was disappointed the flight to Rwanda was not able to leave but would not be ‘deterred from doing the right thing’.

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