Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says it’s not the end of the world if Australia’s refugee deal with the US collapses.
There are fresh doubts over the agreement struck between the Turnbull government and Obama administration to resettle refugees on Manus Island and Nauru in the US.
Those doubts have come because of concerns the deal could be impacted by expected executive orders by President Donald Trump to restrict immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries.
Mr Joyce hopes the deal will still be honoured but admits it’s wait-and-see.
“I hope this, which is been well planned and well thought out, goes forward,” he told 2GB radio on Thursday.
But he admitted it wouldn’t be the “end of the world” if the deal was scuttled, saying Australia’s border protection policies would remain in place regardless.
“It doesn’t mean we are going to be changing our position.
“There is one way you can ever come to this country and it’s with our permission.”
Australia was once ridiculed and criticised for policies such as offshore processing, the Nationals leader said.
“Other countries used to knock us … now they’re trying to replicate us.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull seemed more confident the deal would be honoured.
Joyce:’not end of the world’ if Donald Trump dumps Aus-US refugee deal (10:12am)