Refugees from Rwanda to be accepted in UK under fresh asylum plans
Refugees in Rwanda will be relocated to the UK as part of an immigration agreement signed with the African nation. The Government announced a legally-binding treaty with Rwanda which it said would address the reasons that led the Supreme Court to deem the flagship asylum policy unlawful.
It includes: “The Parties shall make arrangements for the United Kingdom to resettle a portion of Rwanda’s most vulnerable refugees in the United Kingdom, recognising both Parties’ commitment towards providing better international protection for refugees.”
Home Secretary James Cleverly travelled to Rwanda’s capital of Kigali yesterday to sign the treaty.
It also states that “all transfer requests by the United Kingdom shall require approval by Rwanda prior to any relocation”.
This means that Rwandan officials will get to decide which asylum seekers it wants to take.
ERG chairman Mark Francois said the group’s “star chamber” of lawyers will examine the new Rwanda legislation to ensure it contains ‘”unambiguous wording” that will ensure deportation flights.
He warned against any attempt to “bounce” MPs into approving it beforehand.
Mr Cleverly said the promised “emergency” legislation will come before Parliament “soon” to determine that Rwanda is a safe destination, as another aspect of the plan.
Foreign Secretary David Cameron stressed the need to tackle small boat crossings as he gave his full backing to the Government’s Rwanda asylum plan.
The Cabinet minister said there was “nothing more destructive” to a country’s border system than such “visible” illegal migration. He added that during his seven-year absence from politics the debate had changed and many European countries were “extremely worried” about the scale of the problem.
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Speaking in the upper chamber, Lord Cameron said: “One of the things, I think, that has most changed in my seven-year absence from politics is that the debate within EU countries about migration has completely changed.
“Many more are extremely worried about the scale of illegal migration and the need to do some quite creative thinking about how you can deal with this problem. I fully support what the Government is doing because we have to stop these illegal boat crossings.
“There is nothing more destructive to a country’s immigration system than to have a continued and very visible amount of illegal migration. I think the approach that is being taken to break the criminal gangs and their ability to say to people, ‘We will get you to the shore of the UK and from then you are safe’, we have to stop that and that is what the Rwanda plan is all about.”
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