Priti Patel Rwanda plan – Rwanda asylum critics have no solutions
Priti Patel has hit back at the critics who slammed the government’s plan to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Writing in the Times, Patel says those complaining have failed to offer solutions, and along with the foreign minister, they say no “humanitarian nation” could allow the suffering to continue.
The article comes just one day after Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said there were “serious ethical questions” about the plan and called it ‘ungodly’.
Home Secretary Priti Patel and Rwanda Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta, said the global asylum system was “collapsing” under the strain of humanitarian crises and human trafficking.
The plan, they say, will transport asylum seekers who enter the UK unlawfully to Rwanda where they can apply to settle and will allow those fleeing persecution to find safety.
They added the UK’s investment in Rwanda – an initial £120m would help address the lack of opportunities that drive economic migration.
“We are taking bold and innovative steps and it’s surprising that those institutions that criticise the plans fail to offer their own solutions,” they wrote.
“Allowing this suffering to continue is no longer an option for any humanitarian nation.”
It also emerged that some refugees in Rwanda will be sent to the UK under the terms of the two nations’ agreement.
Plan cannot ‘stand the judgement of God’ – Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
In his Easter Sunday sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury criticised the plan, accusing the government of “subcontracting our responsibilities” and saying it cannot “stand the judgement of God.”
The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, echoed the feeling saying the policy was “depressing and distressing”, adding: “We can do better than this.”
The plan has further faced backlash from opposition parties, some Tory MPs and more than 160 charities and campaign groups who urged the PM and home secretary to scrap it.
Rwanda asylum seekers UK plan facing backlash
The plan is being heavily criticised due to Rwanda’s own human rights record, with the UK having raised allegations of extrajudicial killings, disappearances and torture in the East African nation at the UN last year.
But in their Times article, Priti Patel and Vincent Biruta said Rwanda “ranks as one of the world’s safest countries” and has already accommodated 130,000 refugees from multiple countries.
Patel and Biruta claim the plan would “deter migrants from putting their lives at risk” by making dangerous journeys, a letter from the Home Office’s top official said evidence for a deterrent effect was “highly uncertain” and would only be value for money if it reduced the number of Channel crossings and other illegal entries to the UK.
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