The UK and Rwanda announced a deal in April that would house thousands of asylum seekers in Rwanda. People who have entered the UK illegally since January 1 can be sent back to Rwanda. The plan to limit illegal immigration costs 144 million euros.
Amnesty International said the UK government had “dissociated itself away from humanity and reality”. The rest of the reactions at home were not mild either. “Impossible, unethical and exorbitant,” says the centre-left Labor Party. A spokesperson called it a “shameless” distraction from the “partygate” scandal.
At the end of April, Denmark also announced that it wanted to send illegal immigrants to Rwanda. But the Danes have not yet reached an agreement with Rwanda on this.
The UK’s measures are partly intended to deter people from making the dangerous crossing of the English Channel from France, often in small boats operated by smugglers. The Court of Appeal therefore ruled in favor of the British government, after a lower court in London also gave the green light to the evictions on Friday. It is no longer possible to appeal, the judge said on Monday.
UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi on Monday called Britain’s plan “completely wrong, for so many reasons”. Grandi pointed out that there are many countries in Africa and elsewhere which are much poorer than the UK and yet host hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of refugees. The UN refugee chief fears these countries are doing something similar. “The precedent this sets is catastrophic,” Grandi said.
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