Home Secretary turns down Archbishop of Canterbury talks over immigration

The Most Rev Justin Welby has “reached out a number of times” without success according to The House, Parliament’s magazine.

A spokesman for the archbishop confirmed the approach to The House.

He said: “The archbishop would be happy to meet the Home Secretary to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern. In the past, the archbishop has met other home secretaries. It is not unusual.”

A former senior advisor to the 26 bishops who sit in the House of Lords told the magazine the Home Secretary’s response had caused “consternation” and had been seen as a “big slap in the face” at Lambeth Palace.

Government sources said an informal approach for a meeting had been made, according to The Daily Telegraph, which said it is understood the archbishop had met immigration minister Robert Jenrick.

The archbishop and other bishops have criticised the government’s plan to send migrants to Rwanda and he condemned “harmful rhetoric” about refugees in a House of Lords speech.

In her latest comments, the Home Secretary predicted there will be a “disintegration in our society” if action is not taken to curb the number of migrants arriving in Britain via small boats.

Speaking to GB News, she repeated an argument made in her speech on migration in the United States this week that the threshold for claiming asylum needs to be raised.

Her comments indicate she does not plan to back down on her calls for the international reform of refugee rules — such as the United Nations’ Refugee Convention — despite facing backlash, including from her own party.

In a speech to a centre-right think tank in Washington DC, Mrs Braverman warned the West faced an “existential” threat if countries were not able to control their borders from unauthorised arrivals.

People want control of their borders and they want government to get a grip on this and if we don’t it will lead to a disintegration in our society

Senior Tory MPs have criticised Tuesday’s speech, singling out her comments arguing that being discriminated against for being gay or a woman should not grant a person refugee status in the UK.

At least three ministers are among those who have complained, according to The Times, with the newspaper saying Chief Whip Simon Hart is expected to speak with the Home Secretary to convey the upset in the Tory ranks before their party conference starts in Manchester on Sunday.

In an interview with the deputy Tory chairman for his programme Lee Anderson’s Real World, Mrs Braverman said migration was an international crisis that requires a “global solution”.

She said: “Whether it is New York City, whether it is the border with Texas, whether it is Italy, whether it is the Channel, we need to look again at whether these international rules are fit for purpose.

“And what I said in my speech is that there is a lot at stake. There is democratic legitimacy which is at stake.

“People want control of their borders and they want government to get a grip on this and if we don’t it will lead to a disintegration in our society.

“And we need to change — we need to change some of the definitions relating to refugee persecution. It needs to be a high bar if someone is coming to our country fleeing persecution, not a low bar.”

She said it was “reasonable” to question whether accords such as the Refugee Convention, which 149 states have signed up to, are still fit for purpose.

“I don’t think they are,” she added.

The UN’s refugee agency, hitting back at Mrs Braverman’s Stateside speech, has denied there is any need for reform or a relaxation of the definition of a refugee.

Braverman refuses to rule out UK leaving Refugee Convention as UN hits back


ome Secretary Suella Braverman has refused to rule out the UK leaving a global refugee charter if it continues unreformed, as she warned of the “existential threat” of uncontrolled migration.

She used a speech in the United States to advocate for the United Nations’ Refugee Convention to be overhauled as part of wider efforts to stop small boats crossing the Channel.

But, in a rebuke to the senior Conservative, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the organisation’s refugee agency, denied there was any need for reform.

Mrs Braverman said the current international framework governing refugee status, including the UN accord, was “contributing” to a system that was incentivising millions of asylum seekers to “try their luck”.

The need is not for reform, or more restrictive interpretation, but for stronger and more consistent application of the convention

Calling for the “definition of who qualifies for protection” under refugee rules to be “tightened”, she said the threshold for asylum had steadily been lowered since the signing of the UN pact, which is backed by 149 states, more than 70 years ago.

In comments criticised by equalities campaigners, she said offering asylum to a person because they are discriminated against in their home country for being gay or a woman was not sustainable.

The UN’s refugee agency, while recognising the “complex challenges” presented by irregular migration, said the convention remained “crucial” for protecting people facing persecution.

“The need is not for reform, or more restrictive interpretation, but for stronger and more consistent application of the convention and its underlying principle of responsibility-sharing,” the UNHCR said in a statement.

Labour’s shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, accused Mrs Braverman of “scapegoating” LGBT people during her Stateside speech to the American Enterprise Institute, a centre-right think tank.

The latest Home Office figures indicate that 2% of asylum claims made in the UK last year included sexual orientation as part of the basis for a claim.

The Home Secretary’s decision to rally against multilateral treaties comes against a backdrop of domestic struggles to control irregular migration.

She is tasked with helping to deliver the Prime Minister’s pledge of stopping the boats from crossing the Channel – one of five commitments that Rishi Sunak hopes to deliver ahead of a likely election next year.

Almost 24,000 migrants have arrived into the UK via small boats since January.

The official annual arrivals number, while down 26% from the same period in 2022, is likely to rise after people thought to be migrants were spotted being taken in to Dover, Kent, on Tuesday.

Mrs Braverman admitted that her called-for reforms to the UN’s 1951 refugee convention would be cumbersome due to the difficulty in getting all member states to agree.

Asked after her speech in Washington DC whether the UK would consider leaving the convention if reforms were not delivered, Mrs Braverman said the UK Government would do “whatever is required” to tackle the issue of migrants arriving via unauthorised routes.

She said: “The Prime Minister himself has said we will do whatever it takes to stop the boats and that is my position.”

During her address on Tuesday, which lasted more than half an hour, Mrs Braverman said that uncontrolled and irregular migration was “an existential challenge” for the West.

She said political systems that could not control their borders would “not maintain the consent of the people, and thus not long endure”.

She attacked the “misguided dogma” of multiculturalism, saying it had “failed”, with communities living “parallel lives”.

She said migration had been “too much, too quick” to the UK in the past 25 years, with “too little thought given to integration and the impact on social cohesion”.

In a warning to developed nations, Mrs Braverman said: “The global asylum framework is a promissory note that the West cannot fulfil.

“We have created a system of almost infinite supply, incentivising millions of people to try their luck, knowing full well that we have no capacity to meet more than a fraction of demand.”

Mrs Braverman used her US platform to defend the UK’s approach to tackling irregular migration.

The Illegal Migration Act, which has also faced criticism from the UNHCR, legislated for those arriving via the Channel to be deported to their country of origin, or to Rwanda, after ministers struck a £140 million deal with the east African country.

But the Kigali plan is tied up in the courts, with a deportation flight yet to take off.

The Home Secretary said the UK’s Rwanda policy should be “recognised as appropriate” and said it was “right” for countries to act bilaterally rather than wait for international reforms to be agreed.

Speaking about her own parents’ arrival in Britain – her father came from Kenya and her mother Mauritius – she said being a child of immigrants did not mean she had to adopt a “pro-migration” position.

She told a Q&A session after the speech: “It is no betrayal of my parents’ story to say that immigration must be controlled.”

She contrasted her parents migrating to the UK “lawfully” with those who “are coming here gaming the system”.

She added: “My job as Home Secretary is to be honest with the British people, to tell them that the system as it currently stands internationally is not working.

“We need to start working towards a solution that is sustainable and fair.”

Amnesty International UK accused Mrs Braverman, who ignored a question from a reporter as she was leaving the think tank venue about whether her speech had been designed to improve her chances as Tory leader, of “a display of cynicism and xenophobia”.

West faces existential threat if global asylum rules not tightened, says Braverman


illions of asylum seekers are being incentivised to “try their luck” in a system that poses an existential threat to the West if it is not reformed, the Home Secretary has claimed.

Suella BraverAman, giving a speech on migration in the United States, said it was time for the “definition of who qualifies for protection” to be “tightened” as she advocated for changes to international treaties governing refugee rules.

Without a major overhaul and international co-operation, the senior Conservative warned that developed nations face being wiped out by a wave of economic migration.

She said uncontrolled and irregular migration was “an existential challenge for the political and cultural institutions of the West”.

Setting out the “civic argument” against illegal migration, Ms Braverman said: “Uncontrolled immigration, inadequate integration and a misguided dogma of multiculturalism have proven a toxic combination for Europe over the last few decades.

“Multiculturalism makes no demands of the incomer to integrate. It has failed because it allowed people to come to our society and live parallel lives in it. They could be in the society but not of the society.

“And, in extreme cases, they could pursue lives aimed at undermining the stability and threatening the security of society.”

The speech was immediately criticised by human rights groups, who labelled it “inflammatory” and “xenophobic”.

In her speech made in Washington DC, Ms Braverman said: “Just as it is a basic rule of history that nations which cannot defend their borders will not long survive, it is a basic rule of politics that political systems which cannot control their borders will not maintain the consent of the people, and thus not long endure.”

The Home Secretary said changing international accords on refugee rights would be difficult, arguing there was a “fear” among international bodies “of being branded a racist or illiberal”.

The senior Tory earlier stoked controversy with pre-briefed comments in which she said offering asylum to a person because they are gay, a woman or fearing discrimination in their home country is not sustainable.

She declared that no migrant crossing the Channel to Britain was in “imminent peril” and accused some asylum seekers of “shopping around” for their “preferred destination” and suggested those arriving from a safe country should “cease to be treated as refugees”.

Mrs Braverman, addressing the American Enterprise Institute, a centre-right think tank, said a worldwide poll by US analytics company Gallup found that 4% of adults who wanted to permanently leave their homeland – approximately 40 million people – had named Britain as their preferred destination.

She argued that the threshold for asylum has been steadily lowered since the UN Refugee Convention was ratified more than 70 years ago and questioned whether the 1951 accord is “fit for our modern age”.

“The global asylum framework is a promissory note that the West cannot fulfil,” she warned.

“We have created a system of almost infinite supply, incentivising millions of people to try their luck, knowing full well that we have no capacity to meet more than a fraction of demand.”

But critics accused Ms Braverman of railing against the international treaties in a bid to deflect from the Government’s record on processing asylum claims.

Almost 24,000 migrants have arrived into the UK via small boats since January, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak making a pledge to “stop the boats” a centrepiece of his Government’s priorities.

Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s Chief Executive, said Ms Braverman’s speech did not “alter the harsh realities that cause people from countries such as Sudan, Afghanistan and Iran to flee from conflict and persecution.”

“What urgently needs to be addressed on the world stage is the glaring inequality of countries sharing responsibility for refugees a matter in which the UK is severely lagging,” he said.

“Instead of making inflammatory speeches decrying the rights of people fleeing persecution and tyranny, Suella Braverman should focus on creating a functioning UK asylum system that tackles the massive backlog her policies have created, so as to be able to meet the limited refugee responsibilities that fall to the UK.”

ActionAid UK added: “We know from our work across the world that for many women and girls, seeking asylum is the only lifeline left when fleeing persecution.

“Denying this fundamental right is not just a policy choice; it’s a direct affront to gender equality and human rights.”

Meanwhile, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, David Lammy, said: “Suella Braverman targeting LGBT+ people persecuted for being who they are is a shameful new low.

“International conventions aren’t to blame for Tory incompetence.”

The Home Secretary as previously taken aim at the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), signed in 1950, claiming it restricted the Government’s efforts to introduce policies such as the Rwanda scheme.

She appeared to keep the door open to potentially leaving the ECHR, as some Tory MPs have called for the Government to do.

“I reject that notion that a country cannot be expected to respect human rights if it is not signed up to an international human rights organisation,” she said.

“(It is) as if the UK doesn’t have a proud history of human rights dating back to Magna Carta, and the ECHR is all that is holding us back from becoming Russia.

“America, Canada, New Zealand, and Japan seem to manage just fine.”

Braverman questions whether international migration rules are ‘fit for purpose’


uella Braverman has suggested a shake-up of international rules could be needed to tackle the migrant crisis ahead of a major speech in the United States.

The Home Secretary questioned whether conventions and legal frameworks designed more than half a century ago are still “fit for purpose”.

She warned that a failure to address the problem will undermine the “democratic legitimacy” of political institutions.

We must come together and ask whether the international conventions and legal frameworks designed 50-plus years ago are fit for purpose in an age of jet travel and smartphones

The Home Secretary has previously stated her personal view that the UK should leave the European Convention on Human Rights signed in 1950, which she has blamed for hampering efforts to introduce tough policies such as the Rwanda scheme.

Critics of her approach have also questioned its compliance with the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention.

Ahead of her trip, the Home Secretary said: “Illegal migration and the unprecedented mass movement of people across the globe is placing unsustainable pressures on America, the UK, and Europe.

“We must come together and ask whether the international conventions and legal frameworks designed 50-plus years ago are fit for purpose in an age of jet travel and smartphones.

“I’m going to Washington to discuss this crisis with our American counterparts.

“If we fail to meet these challenges, then our political institutions risk losing their democratic legitimacy.”

Mrs Braverman will travel to Washington on Monday and deliver a keynote speech on Tuesday setting out her assessment of the global migration challenges.

She will present a blueprint for how other countries can combat the crisis and claim the UK has led the way in bringing forward innovative approaches to tackling the problem.

So far this year almost 24,000 people have been detected crossing the English Channel despite Rishi Sunak’s promise to “stop the boats”, although the figure is down from 2022.

Efforts to send some asylum seekers on a one-way trip to Rwanda have been bogged down in legal battles, while an attempt to house people waiting for claims to be assessed on a barge in Portland, Dorset is on hold after Legionella was discovered.

The Home Secretary will use her trip to seek closer co-operation with the US authorities on tackling illegal migration and people traffickers.

She will meet homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and attorney general Merrick Garland for talks on migration and national security.

Following her call for social media firms such as Meta to do more to tackle online child abuse, she will visit the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children to see how the organisation is working with law enforcement worldwide to tackle the evolving threat.

She will also see work going on to address the deadly problems associated with opioid use in the US amid concerns from the UK law enforcement agencies about drugs such as fentanyl getting a hold here.

Alp Mehmet, chairman of campaign group Migration Watch UK, said Mrs Braverman was right to “call out the conventions” and suggested the UK should withdraw from both the ECHR and the Refugee Convention if reforms were not made.

“We have long been saying that both the Refugee Convention and ECHR are outdated and ill-suited to modern challenges,” he said.

But Refugee Council chief Enver Solomon said: “What we need is a fair process for people who come here in search of safety and protection.

“Instead of threatening to abandon the frameworks and conventions that protect refugees’ rights, we should be addressing the real issues in the asylum system, such as the record backlog, and providing safe routes for those in need of protection, including refugee visas, resettlement and family reunion schemes.”

People-smuggling should be treated ‘on a par’ with terrorism, Starmer says


eople-smuggling should be treated “on a par” with terrorism, Sir Keir Starmer has said, as he promised new measures aimed at preventing small boat crossings if Labour wins the next general election.

Deepening intelligence ties with Europe as part of a new post-Brexit security pact and strengthening powers to restrict the movement of those suspected of organised immigration crime would form part of the plan.

The Labour leader said: “The first job of any government is national security – protecting the British people from threats that come from here and overseas.

“The Government’s failure to tackle the criminal smuggling gangs orchestrating boat crossings is now so profound that I believe it needs to be considered on a par with the other three big security threats we face: climate change, hostile foreign powers and terrorism.”

As part of its plans, Labour says it would work to reach a new agreement to share real-time intelligence with the EU similar to the Schengen Information System II, a database of terror suspects and immigration offenders which the UK had automatic access to before Brexit.

The party has also vowed to strengthen powers to restrict the movement of people smugglers by making it quicker and easier to obtain civil orders, known as serious crime prevention orders, which are used to target offenders such as terrorists and drug traffickers.

More British officers would be stationed in Europe under the plans, with a “cross-border police force” focused solely on disrupting criminal gangs, Labour said.

In an interview with The Times newspaper, Sir Keir said he would also seek an EU-wide returns agreement for asylum seekers who arrive in Britain, which may involve a “quid pro quo” of accepting quotas of migrants from the bloc.

Funding for the measures would be redirected from the Government’s Rwanda plan, which is currently held up in the courts following a series of legal challenges.

The plan is intended to deter Channel crossings by sending some asylum seekers arriving in Britain to the nation or another “safe third country”, but critics have branded it unworkable.

Sir Keir is seeking to emphasise his credentials as former director of public prosecutions during a visit to The Hague with shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper this week.

Taking a hard-line stance on immigration crime will be seen as important to convince swing voters that Labour can be trusted to stem the number of Channel crossings, which has passed 23,000 in 2023, in the run-up to a general election expected next year.

“My Labour government will be twice as ruthless, to smash the gangs and secure British borders,” Sir Keir said.

“These criminal smuggling gangs are growing fat on the Government’s failures, while the Tories ramp up empty rhetoric around illegal immigration for cheap headlines.”

Sir Keir’s meeting with Europol officials at The Hague comes ahead of a trip to Montreal, Canada, for a summit of “progressive” politicians.

Reports suggest he is also set to be hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron in Paris next week.

The Labour leader has met several European leaders during his tenure, including German chancellor Olaf Scholz, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and then-Irish premier Micheal Martin.

He could also be eyeing a meeting in the White House with US president Joe Biden in the coming months, whose “Bidenomics” and landmark green subsidy push has attracted admiration from the Opposition.

A Tory spokesman said Sir Keir was “opening the door to voluntarily taking even more illegal migrants from the EU”.

“Sir Keir belongs to the same failed politics that won’t take the necessary long-term decisions to tackle this issue. He clearly doesn’t care about illegal immigration and is trying to take the easy way out. Fundamentally his ideas would do nothing but weaken our tough measures,” hesaid.

The provisional total of Channel crossings for the year so far is still lower than this time last year, when around 27,000 had already been recorded.

But more than 3,000 have crossed since the start of September, compared to around 2,600 for the first 10 days of the same month in 2022.

Follow Us on Google News
#Peoplesmuggling #treated #par #terrorism #Starmer

UK leading the way with Rwanda policy as other countries look at ‘similar solutions’, Sunak says

The UK is leading the way with its Rwanda deportation scheme as other European countries look at “similar solutions” to tackle illegal immigration, the prime minister has said.

Rishi Sunak also said he discussed illegal immigration during a “meeting and a drink” with Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni as world leaders attend the G20 summit in Delhi.

Mr Sunak said they discussed how they can “work together” to tackle the “shared challenge” of illegal immigration in Europe.

The Conservative government wants to send tens of thousands of migrants more than 6,000 miles away from the UK to Rwanda as part of a £120m deal agreed with the east African country in 2022.

Critics have claimed the policy breaks international human rights laws, and no one has been sent to the country yet after ongoing legal challenges in the courts.

Mr Sunak has said he will do “whatever is necessary” to get the removal flights going after a Court of Appeal ruling in June said the scheme is unlawful.

The government later confirmed it would be submitting an appeal to the Supreme Court to try and reverse the ruling.

Sunak says UK has taken ‘radical action’

Speaking about the Rwanda policy to reporters in Delhi, Mr Sunak said on Saturday: “I’ve always said that this is a global issue, this issue of illegal migration. It is only growing in importance and will require global coordination to resolve.

“I have said Britain would be tough but fair, and where Britain leads others will follow. We have been willing to take bold and radical action to tackle this problem.

“I said that other countries would look at similar solutions, and you can start to see that they are with the news from Austria this week, and more broadly across Europe.

“You can just see this issue growing and growing in salience, and I think that we have been out in front leading the conversation on this and the need to look at this differently and look at radical solutions.”

Rishi Sunak and Giorgia Meloni in Lithuania earlier this year. Pic: AP

Austria and Denmark consider Rwanda plan

Mr Sunak’s comments come after Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer raised the possibility of deporting illegal immigrants to Rwanda, where their cases for asylum cases would be processed.

Gerhard Karner, Austria’s interior minister, has called for the EU to introduce “asylum procedures in safe third countries” and referred to a model “Denmark and Great Britain are also following”.

Denmark had been in negotiations with Rwanda over the possible transfer of asylum seekers.

However, the plans were put on hold earlier this year as Denmark wants to work for an EU-wide solution.

It comes after Italy’s prime minister, who heads up a right-wing government, defended the UK government’s Rwanda policy in April.

She said it was wrong to refer to it as “deportation” and any suggestion Rwanda does not “respect rights” would be a “racist way of interpreting things”.

However, there are no reports to suggest Italy has been considering sending illegal immigrants to the east African nation.

Read more:
Analysis: G20 exposes how low bar for success is
Boris Johnson travels to Ukraine to get honorary degree
Sunak ‘entirely confident’ Tories will win election

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Rishi Sunak arrives in Delhi

Sunak wants UK and Italy to ‘do more together’

Speaking about his meeting with Ms Meloni at the G20 summit, Mr Sunak said: “Obviously (illegal immigration) is something that her and I have talked about a lot and we talked again about how we can work closer together, which we’re already doing.

“But again, what are the opportunities for us to do more together to tackle this shared challenge?”… She and I have a view together, both of us, that this is an important topic that needs us to work together.

“So that won’t be the last of these conversations that I have.”

Mr Sunak is visiting New Delhi for the first as prime minister while he is at the G20 summit.

He has said he is confident a trade deal will be struck between the UK and India after meeting with the country’s prime minister Narendra Modi.

The annual G20 summit brings together leaders from 20 of the world’s largest economies to discuss pressing global issues.

Follow Us on Google News
#leading #Rwanda #policy #countries #similar #solutions #Sunak

Rwanda Man Lured Prostitutes Home To Kill Them, 14 Bodies Found Buried In Kitchen

Kigali, Rwanda:

A man has been arrested in Rwanda after the discovery of more than 10 bodies buried in a hole in the kitchen of his home in the capital Kigali, police and media reports said Wednesday. Police said the 34-year-old suspected serial killer had lured his victims from bars to his rented home in a Kigali suburb.

Local media said more than 10 bodies had been found, and a source in the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) told AFP on condition of anonymity that the number of victims so far was 14.

RIB spokesman Thierry Murangira declined to confirm a figure, telling AFP that “the final number will be determined by forensic investigations”.

The suspect had initially been arrested in July on suspicion of robbery and rape among other offences but was granted bail due to a lack of evidence, he said, quoted by local media.

Investigations continued however and he was rearrested on Tuesday and his home searched, leading to the discovery of the bodies dumped in a pit he had dug in his kitchen.

“The suspect confessed that he learned to kill from watching famous serial killers. He dissolved some of his victims in acid,” the RIB source said.

“He would study his victims before stalking them and usually went for those that are most likely not to have close family or friends to look out for them.”

Murangira said the suspect had confessed during interrogation to the killings and that preliminary investigations had found the victims were both male and female.

“He operated by luring his victims, mostly prostitutes, to his home where he would rob them of their phones and belongings and then strangled them to death and buried them in a hole dug in the kitchen of his rented house,” he added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Follow Us on Google News
#Rwanda #Man #Lured #Prostitutes #Home #Kill #Bodies #Buried #Kitchen

Ex-Minister calls on Sunak to revisit Rwanda migrant plan as Channel crossings surpass 21,000

A former Minister has called on Rishi Sunak to revise the UK Government’s Rwanda migrant plan as Channel crossings surpass 21,000 in 2023.

Former Justice Secretary Sir Robert Buckland is supporting measures to “administer justice in a firm but fair way” as the daily number of migrants arriving on British shores remains in the hundreds.

The Swindon South MP, who served under Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, also voiced his approval at the Home Office taking heed of a centre-right think tank’s desire for the Rwanda policy to be “revisited and revised rather than abolished”.

He said: “Unscrupulous criminal gangs must be stopped, and their business model dismantled, restoring the all-important quality of justice to our asylum system.

Sir Robert Buckland has spoken out about the Government migration plan

GB News

“This would be reinforced by adopting further Bright Blue policies, such as humanitarian visas, an annual refugee quota and the re-introduction of the two-tier system that wasn’t given enough time to work.”

Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner MP David Simmonds, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration, also threw his weight behind respecting the rule of law.

The Tory MP said: “We are rightly proud of the rule of law as one of the foundations of our democracy.

“Our approach to asylum needs to focus on putting our own policies and laws correctly into practice, rather than seeking to disadvantage the most vulnerable by depriving them of legal rights that our own citizens rely on when in difficulty abroad.”

Bright Blue, which proudly promotes liberal conservatism, suggested the UK Government could commit to an annual quota on refugees under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees resettlement schemes, create a new humanitarian visa scheme which would cap the number of asylum seekers, revise the Rwanda policy to enable claims to be heard, or reinstate its two-tier system which enables and promotes differential treatment of refugees who arrive via legal routes compared to those who arrive irregularly.

Rishi SunakPA

Two of the recommendations included annual reviews and were more lenient depending on the fragility of certain countries.

Bright Blue chief executive Ryan Shorthouse said: “Since asylum applications are at record levels, the Government urgently needs to get a grip and implement alternative policies to reduce the number of people making dangerous journeys to arrive in the UK.

“The main proposal to detain and deport nearly all irregular migrants, especially to Rwanda, is neither realistic nor fair – it’s just not cricket.

“The UK public do want tough action to be taken on irregular migrants, but only once their claim has been heard and rejected – in other words, Brits believe in due process.

“So the priority for the Home Office must be improving the speed and accuracy of asylum processing, and ensuring the effective tracking and removal of people who are not eligible to be here.”

Huge numbers of migrants are still coming to Britain via small boats PA

The total number of migrants who have crossed the Channel in 2023 exceeded 21,000 at the start of September.

The figure is slightly below where it stood at the same time last year but almost 46,000 people completed the perilous 21-mile journey in small boats in 2022.

A majority of the British public favour deporting illegal migrants but also support an added process when determining their removal, Opinium polling conducted for Bright Blue has revealed.

However, immigration and asylum has emerged as a major issue for both 2019 Conservative voters and 2016 Brexit supporters.

Sunak and Home Secretary Suella Braverman vowed to end illegal Channel crossings as part of the Prime Minister’s five priorities after he succeeded Liz Truss in Downing Street.

Suella Braverman is under pressure over new migrant crisis plans PA

The Prime Minister rowed back against the commitment last month, saying the Channel crossing crisis cannot be solved “overnight” as it is a “complex” problem.

He added: “I want it to be done as soon as possible but I also want to be honest with people that it is a complex problem, there is not one simple solution and that it can’t be solved overnight and I wouldn’t be being straight with people if I said that was possible.”

The Illegal Migration Bill passed through the House of Commons in July as the Government continues to try to address the migrant crisis.

The legislation gives the Home Secretary a duty to detain and remove those illegally arriving in the United Kingdom to either Rwanda or another “safe” third country.

Sunak is also looking to house a number of migrants aboard the Bibby Stockholm barge and at former RAF bases in Essex and Lincolnshire.

GB News has approached the Home Office for comment.

Follow Us on Google News
#ExMinister #calls #Sunak #revisit #Rwanda #migrant #plan #Channel #crossings #surpass

UK to launch new education partnerships with Rwanda


he UK will launch a series of education initiatives in Rwanda during a three-day visit by a Foreign Office minister.

Andrew Mitchell will announce two measures aimed at strengthening education in Rwanda.

Under the UK’s new Girls in Rwanda Learn (Girl) programme, he will sign a seven-year partnership with Unicef that focuses on keeping girls in school who are at risk of dropping out, and supporting children with disabilities.

He is also expected to launch the British Council’s Digital Library, which is part of the UK’s efforts to make educational resources available to all.

Access to the library will be free for 12 months and provides more than 80,000 resources.

Our two countries continue to work together on a range of issues important to both nations, and the region, including climate change and women and girls’ education

Mr Mitchell said: “During my visit to Rwanda, I will explore the depth and breadth of our relationship.

“Our two countries continue to work together on a range of issues important to both nations and the region, including climate change and women and girls’ education.

“The long-term partnership between the UK and Rwanda is underpinned by our support to help eradicate poverty, educate children, especially girls, and provide British expertise to improve the delivery of public services for all.”

Mr Mitchell will see the impact of British Investment Partnerships in Rwanda, visiting a water treatment plant that is part of a joint venture between British International Investment (BII) and Metito.

High-level discussions will also take place with President Paul Kagame and minister of foreign affairs Vincent Biruta, focusing on bilateral relations and regional issues.

Mr Mitchell will also attend Rwanda’s annual gorilla naming ceremony, Kwita Izina, to highlight conservation efforts.

The Foreign Office says the UK’s dedication to Rwanda’s development will be further highlighted at the UK-African Investment Summit in London in April 2024.

In April 2022, the UK and Rwanda agreed a Migration and Economic Development Partnership, which includes a five-year “asylum partnership arrangement”.

However, nobody has yet been sent to Rwanda amid ongoing legal challenges, although the High Court upheld the overall lawfulness of the policy in December 2022.

Follow Us on Google News
#launch #education #partnerships #Rwanda

Bibby Stockholm barge is safe amid legal challenge possibility, Braverman says


uella Braverman has insisted that the Bibby Stockholm barge is safe after firefighters raised the possibility of legal action over concerns about the safety of those on board.

It comes as the Home Secretary declined to rule out reports the Home Office is considering fitting asylum seekers arriving in the UK via unauthorised means with electronic tags.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has sent a “pre-action protocol letter” to Ms Braverman outlining its concerns over safety aboard the vessel moored in Dorset’s Portland Port.

The union previously branded the giant barge, initially designed for about 200 people but modified to house 500 migrants, a “potential death trap”.

The first asylum seekers placed on board Bibby Stockholm earlier this month were removed days later after tests revealed Legionella – the bacteria which can cause the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease.

This barge has accommodated people in the past – asylum seekers, oil rig workers and barges of this kind have been used to accommodate asylum seekers, for example in Scotland, so I’m very confident that this barge is safe for human habitation

The FBU is demanding a response to its legal letter by Thursday.

“Let me be clear that I’m confident barges are safe,” Ms Braverman told BBC Breakfast.

“This barge has accommodated people in the past – asylum seekers, oil rig workers and barges of this kind have been used to accommodate asylum seekers, for example in Scotland, so I’m very confident that this barge is safe for human habitation.

“We followed all of the advice and protocols in anticipation of embarkation.”

She accused the trade union of launching a “political attack” on the Government but was unable to say when asylum seekers would be returning to the barge.

The Home Secretary also said ministers were considering all options after The Times said officials are mulling electronic tagging as a way to prevent migrants who cannot be housed in limited detention sites from absconding.

The Illegal Migration Act places a legal duty on the Government to detain and remove those arriving in the UK illegally, either to Rwanda or another “safe” third country.

However, as spaces in Home Office accommodation are in short supply, officials have been tasked with a “deep dive” into alternatives, according to the newspaper.

While the preferred solution is to increase the number of detention places, electronic tagging has been mooted, as has cutting off financial allowances to someone who fails to report regularly to the Home Office.

Ms Braverman told Sky News: “We’ve just enacted a landmark piece of legislation in the form of our Illegal Migration Act. That empowers us to detain those who arrive here illegally and thereafter to swiftly remove them to a safe country like Rwanda.”

The Times said officials are considering it as a way to prevent migrants who cannot be housed in limited detention sites from absconding.

She said: “We need to exercise a level of control of people if we’re to remove them from the United Kingdom.

“We are considering a range of options. We have a couple of thousand detention places in our existing removal capacity.

“We will be working intensively to increase that but it’s clear we’re exploring a range of options, all options, to ensure that we have that level of control over people so that they can flow through our systems swiftly to enable us to thereafter remove them from the United Kingdom.”

Home Office data this week showed Channel crossings topped 19,000 for the year so far, despite Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s pledge that he will “stop the boats”.

The asylum backlog has soared to a record high, with more than 175,000 people waiting for an initial decision on an asylum application at the end of June, with the bill for the taxpayer almost doubling in a year to nearly £4 billion.

Some senior Tories have pushed for the Government to commit to leaving the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) if the Rwanda scheme continues to be blocked.

Ms Braverman stopped short of saying the UK should leave the international court on Monday, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “My personal views are clear. It’s a politicised court. It’s interventionist.

“It’s treading on the territory of national sovereignty. But no-one’s talking about leaving the ECHR right now.

“We’re working to deliver our plan. We’ve enacted landmark legislation. We are confident in the lawfulness of our agreement with Rwanda.”

Follow Us on Google News
#Bibby #Stockholm #barge #safe #legal #challenge #possibility #Braverman

Rwanda policy desperately needed to stop Albanian gangs in UK demands MP

A Conservative Party MP has said the only way to break the business model of human traffickers is with a “deterrent-led approach” – and for Britain that means sending asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Tom Hunt, the member of Parliament for Ipswich, was responding to the findings of an Express.co.uk investigation into people smugglers which found Albanian gangs were running operations from inside Britain.

The undercover investigation found unscrupulous gangs are using UK phone numbers to charge £3500 for Channel crossings, and arranging for payments to be collected through an associate in Britain once the crossings have been successfully made.

We found a large number of adverts on social media platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, posted by traffickers and, posing as the relative of an Albanian family wishing to come to the UK, we easily made contact with several smugglers.

“For some this won’t come as a massive surprise,” said Tom Hunt. “It’s as many of us suspected. However, it doesn’t make it any less concerning.

“This is a vile trade in human lives that will continue to grow unless we break the business model of these groups.”

Hunt added that the findings emphasised the need for the Government to press ahead with a proposed move to send migrants, whose asylum claims have been deemed inadmissible, to Rwanda.

“The only way to break this business model is to have a deterrent-led approach [and it’s] absolutely why we need to have the Rwanda policy up and running,” he added.

“Credit to the Daily Express for conducting this investigation.”

The issue with Albanian people trafficking gangs arranging Channel crossings worsened in 2022.

Border Force chief Dan O’Mahoney told MPs last year that up to two percent of the entire adult male population of Albania travelled to the UK by crossing the English Channel.

He explained this significant increase was a result of gangs from the Balkan nation breaking the stranglehold Kurdish criminal groups had on people-smuggling routes, although in some cases the two operations were still in league with one another.

Have you got a TIP for a STORY? Email tips@express.co.uk

Follow Us on Google News
#Rwanda #policy #desperately #needed #stop #Albanian #gangs #demands

Eleven people listed on first Rwanda flight staged hunger strike

Eleven people earmarked for the first deportation flight to Rwanda staged a hunger strike to protest about their forced removal, according to a report from an independent watchdog. The annual report from the Independent Monitoring Board for Gatwick Immigration Removal Centre highlights grave concerns about how the Home Office managed the process of attempting to remove people to Rwanda, a controversial policy that the government claims will deter small boat arrivals.

That first flight was cancelled shortly before it was due to take off from Boscombe Down Ministry of Defence site in Wiltshire after a last-minute intervention by the European court in June. The court of appeal found the Rwanda policy to be unlawful, but the government is due to appeal against that ruling in the supreme court in October. The report issues a series of warnings for government about its Rwanda policy.

“The board remains concerned that if this policy is fully implemented and men are detained prior to removal, there is a high likelihood of real harm,” it states, adding that the process of removing people to Rwanda was “inadequate, resulting in unacceptable compromises to the men’s safety”.

One hundred people who were held in the Gatwick detention centre received notices of intent letters from the Home Office that there were plans to forcibly remove them to Rwanda.

It has been reported that 128 people received notices for the inaugural flight – 28 at Heathrow immigration removal centre and the rest at Gatwick. Just one person from the Gatwick centre was taken to the airport in preparation for removal. The report found that he suffered a severe panic attack.

A total of seven asylum seekers were taken to Boscombe Down for the aborted flight, six of whom were staying at the Heathrow immigration removal centre.

The report also raises concerns about the time at which removal directions were issued to those the Home Office hoped to send to Rwanda. These directions were issued on 30 May, the queen’s jubilee weekend, when it was harder for people to access lawyers.

An earlier report from the IMB’s charter flight monitoring team published in June 2023 found that two of the seven people the Home Office tried to put on the flight to Rwanda were on constant observation due to their risk of suicide, and one was put into a waist restraint belt.

Three of the seven were subjected to use of force. One person was not offered access to paramedics when he needed it. One man started praying on the airfield, believing the plane would take off imminently, while the report stated “two started to scream out their fear and distress, each trying to hurl his torso and head backwards and forwards”. Both were put into restraint belts.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We take the wellbeing and safety of those in our care incredibly seriously and have dedicated welfare teams across all sites who can escalate any instances of mental health or illness.

“There are also robust safeguarding measures in place to ensure everyone within our care, including vulnerable people, is treated with dignity and has access to the support they need, including legal advice, while in detention.”

Follow Us on Google News
#Eleven #people #listed #Rwanda #flight #staged #hunger #strike