Priti Patel has struck a new agreement with Albania to speed up the deportation of the nation’s criminals from the UK.

The Home Secretary signed the agreement to remove failed asylum seekers and jailed Albanian criminals sooner as part of a two-day visit to the country’s capital, Tirana.

Albanians make up the largest number of foreign national offenders in UK prisons, totalling more than 1,500, or 16 per cent of the overseas jail population.

The deal will enable the Government to enact its plans for the earlier removal of criminals from UK jails proposed in its new Nationality and Borders Bill.

The Bill will allow the prison service to deport a foreign criminal a year before the end of their sentence, rather than nine months, so that they can serve the remainder of it in one of their home country’s jails.

Speaking from Tirana, Ms Patel said: “I am determined to fix our immigration system, clamp down on illegal entry, and remove those with no right to be in UK as swiftly as possible.

‘I make no apology for removing dangerous foreign criminals’

“Our new plan for immigration, coupled with this new agreement, will speed up the removal of Albanian nationals who have committed crimes in the UK and overstayed their welcome.

“I make no apology for removing dangerous foreign criminals to protect the British people and, so far this year, more than 1,000 foreign criminals have been deported, with more being removed every single week.”

Ms Patel has accelerated the removal of foreign criminals following the easing of coronavirus travel restrictions, and since April the Government has removed 254 Albanian criminals from the UK as well as 85 other Albanian nationals with no right to be here.

While in Albania, the Home Secretary also met Edi Rama, the Prime Minister, and welcomed the continued cooperation between the UK and Albania in tackling serious organised crime in the region.

They also reaffirmed their shared commitment to cracking down on Western Balkan-based organised crime groups involved in drugs trafficking, illicit finance and organised immigration crime to the UK.