UK prime minister Starmer terminates deportations to Rwanda

Migrant crisis in Europe

Published 10 July 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Keir Starmer confirms that the partnership agreement with Rwanda will be terminated.

The new UK prime minister, Keir Starmer, announces that he will scrap plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, saying the measures “do not act as a deterrent”.

– The Rwanda scheme was dead and buried before it started. It’s never been a deterrent, he declared after his Labour Party won a landslide victory in UK’s general election.

– I’m not prepared to continue with gimmicks that don’t act as a deterrent, he continued.

It was only in April that the British Parliament passed the law designating Rwanda as a safe third country to which migrants and asylum seekers arriving in the UK from mainland Europe would be sent pending the processing of their applications for leave to remain.

It was the former Liberal-Conservative prime minister, Rishi Sunak, who promised to stop the flood of migrants arriving daily on small boats from countries such as France.

“Britain’s problem”

Yesterday, Rwandan authorities announced that they had received confirmation of the UK government’s intention to withdraw from the migration partnership agreement, saying it was “a problem of the UK, not Rwanda”.

“Rwanda has fully upheld its side of the agreement, including with regard to finances, and remains committed to finding solutions to the global migration crisis, including providing safety, dignity and opportunity to refugees and migrants who come to our country”, it said in a statement.

According to Starmer, the Rwanda plan was never a realistic solution, and he says that even the gangs organising people smuggling into the UK “has worked out that the chance of ever going to Rwanda was so slim – less than 1 percent”.

Pressure from activists

At the same time, UK officials have been under pressure from lobbying organizations and pro-mass migration activists and groups who have argued that the deportations are illegal and that Rwanda is an unsafe country and that the safety of migrants is being compromised.

– Our asylum system must be made to focus on delivering as fairly and efficiently as possible the security and certainty to which every refugee is entitled however they may arrive, said Agnes Callmard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

Suella Braverman, a Conservative immigration critic, argues instead that “Years of hard work, acts of Parliament, millions of pounds been spent on a scheme which, had it been delivered properly, would have worked”, and she believes that Starmer’s announcement will lead to major problems for the UK.

It should be noted that Mr. Starmer and his party have offered no alternative solutions to end mass immigration to the British Isles, which is expected to continue into the next parliamentary term.

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