UK Foreign Minister, James Cleverly.
- The EU would learn from the way the UK handles the Rwanda deportation deal to regulate illegal migration, the new home secretary said.
- The ruling Conservative Party said it was coming up with a new law to revive the Rwanda deal.
- Rwanda was paid R3.3 billion for the deal, while the UK also used R33 million on legal feeds to defend it.
Recently appointed United Kingdom Home Secretary James Cleverly said European countries were keen on learning from the former European Union member on how to deal with migration, particularly handling illegal boats coming through from Africa.
Last week, Médecins Sans Frontières said in a report that 2 200 people died or went missing while crossing the Mediterranean Sea from African locations such as Libya and Tunisia.
Those who succeed in crossing through the illegal boats go into mainland Italy and France; thereafter, some make the trek to the UK and other European destinations.
Rights groups argue that EU countries have little consideration for the human cost and continue to invest in detrimental migration policies, regulations, and practices.
But Cleverly said that while the migration issue was a headache, lessons were going to be drawn from the manner in which the UK would handle the Rwanda deportation deal that was rejected as unlawful by the Supreme Court.
“This government was criticised by the opposition and by voices across the continent when we started to take action to address the significant increase in the volume of illegal migration. Countries across the continent are now looking at us in order to emulate the actions we are taking,” he said during a House of Commons debate on the Rwanda Relocation Scheme’s Supreme Court judgment on Monday.
After the Supreme Court ruling, the Conservative Party is looking at other ways to keep the deal alive, and that could be through introducing another legal instrument.
The Rwanda scheme remains an important part of our response to illegal migration and people smuggling. We will continue to negotiate with the government of Rwanda on a treaty that will be underpinned by domestic law so that the Rwanda scheme will join the other effective parts of our response to stopping the boats.
So far, the UK has used R3.3 billion (£140 million) of taxpayers’ money to pay Rwanda.
However, numerous human rights activists mounted court challenges to stop the deportations, and in an attempt to fend off legal hurdles, the government has spent R33 million (£1.4 million) in legal fees.
Steven Bonnar, from the Scottish National Party, responding to Cleverly, said he was worried that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wanted to override the Supreme Court decision “through emergency laws and a new treaty with Rwanda to save his unlawful deportation plans” despite so much financial loss.
But Cleverly said time was not on their side, and he would not subject their planned law to scrutiny that would delay it because it was a matter of urgency.
“There is an urgency to the legislation that we seek to put forward, and although pre-legislative scrutiny has a part to play, I will not do anything that delays the implementation of this incredibly important legislation,” he added.
The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/new-uk-home-secretary-eager-for-new-law-to-revive-rwanda-deportation-deal-20231128
Publish date : 2023-11-28 20:34:42