Hundreds of thousands of failed asylum seekers will be deported from Europe within weeks under secret plans to tackle the migrant crisis.

The European Union will threaten African countries such as Niger and Eritrea that it will withdraw aid, trade and visa arrangements unless they agree to take back economic migrants.

Plans would also be put in place to detain thousands of migrants to stop them fleeing to avoid deportation.

More than 400,000 asylum seekers who have entered the EU in the first six months of this year are expected to have their claims rejected.

The document, seen by MailOnline, says: ‘The EU and its Member States must do more in terms of return. Increased return rates should act as a deterrent to irregular migration.’

EU home office ministers, including Theresa May, will discuss the draft plans at a summit in Luxembourg this week.

Despite Britain not being part of the Schengen zone and therefore not bound by the plan, the British Home Secretary is expected to support the proposals if they lead to the Calais migrant camps being cleared, it was reported by The Times.

Under the ‘action plan on return’ the EU’s border agency Frontex will set up a new unit to assist with deportations.

Countries which do not enforce the rules would face legal action and fines from the European Commission.

The document states: ‘Member states must systematically issue return decisions, take all necessary steps to enforce them and provide adequate resources, necessary for identifying and returning illegally staying third-country nationals.

‘All measures must be taken to ensure irregular migrants’ effective return, including use of detention as a legitimate measure of last resort.’

Mrs May yesterday called for new deportation measures for the UK, saying mass immigration was making it impossible to build a cohesive society and was against Britain’s national interest.

She said Britain ‘does not need’ large numbers of migrants and warned they are putting British workers out of jobs and forcing down wages.

She also announced a ‘tough new plan for asylum’ stripping those who make it to Britain of the automatic right to stay.

Mrs May also revealed that Britain has spent more than £4million processing asylum claims by EU citizens at no risk of persecution.

Many of the claimants are from Spain, where millions of Britons take holidays, and Poland.

Europe is struggling to cope with its worst migrant crisis since World War Two as hundreds of thousands flee war and persecution in Africa and the Middle East.

More than 500,000 have arrived in Europe across the Mediterranean so far this year, more than double the figure for 2014, according to the international Organisation for Migration.

German authorities, meanwhile, expect up to 1.5million refugees to come to the country this year, up from a previous estimate of 800,000 to one million.

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