DOUGLAS Ross has moved to distance himself from a Home Office plan to base asylum seeker detention facilities on Scottish islands.

The Scottish Tory leader said the proposals were not “practical, considered or reasonable”.

On Friday, the Herald reported that Priti Patel’s department had confirmed that Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles were being considered as possible locations to build processing centres for vulnerable refugees.

A Whitehall source told the paper: “It would be remiss of the Home Office not to look at all options on how best to resolve this problem.

“All these options are on the table, including using Scottish islands. Everything is being considered...and nothing has been ruled out.”

Responding to the report Ross said: “I would never support an asylum processing centre on a Scottish island or in the North Sea.

“While I understand and share the need to take strong action to stop illegal migration and deter asylum seekers from making a dangerous journey, this is not a practical, considered or reasonable approach. 

“Immigration plans must balance the need to control our borders with the safety of people who are in need of asylum.”

Other suggestions reportedly discussed by the government, included the construction of an asylum processing centre on Ascension Island, a British overseas territory more than 4,000 miles from the UK. 

The Home Office also looked at using water cannons to create waves to push back boats in the Channel, and using chains to tangle their propellers.

However, the water cannon plan was rejected amid concern that staff could have faced murder charges if migrants drowned.

In a brainstorming session, Home Office even considered shipping migrants to repurposed oil platforms for processing. That plan was dismissed on safety grounds.

Nicola Sturgeon has made clear she would oppose any UK government bid to build a detention centre on a Scottish island.

"They can rest assured that any proposal to treat human beings like cattle in a holding pen will be met with the strongest possible opposition from me," the First Minister tweeted.