Co-operate with deportations or face visa penalties, UK tells other countries


FILE PHOTO: Arriving passengers queue at UK Border Control at the Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain June 29, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's interior minister will impose visa penalties on countries that do not co-operate with deportations of their own citizens, under plans announced by the British government on Friday.

The "Nationality and Borders Bill" will give the government the power to suspend visas entirely, impose a 190 pound ($261) surcharge to come to Britain, or increase visa processing times for countries who refuse to take back their own citizens.

"We rightly expect our international partners to work with us to remove those who have no right to be in the UK, such as dangerous foreign national offenders," interior minister Priti Patel said in a statement.

"It is unfair on UK citizens and taxpayers that pressure is put on our public services by foreign nationals with no legal right  to be  here... I will continue to take the difficult action needed to fix our broken asylum system and deliver on what the British people want – full control of our borders."

Under the legislation, foreign criminals will also be eligible for removal from Britain up to 12 months before the end of their custodial sentence, compared to the previous nine months, the government said.

Britain also plans to expand the types of claims which can be dealt with in an accelerated appeal from detention, so that more cases can be resolved before a person is released into the community. 

($1 = 0.7284 pounds)

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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