Migrants dashing to Dover in attempt to get to Britain before Rwanda plan comes into force
Dozens of asylum seekers arrived in small boats after crossing the English Channel today, as the UK Government's policy will send migrants away with a one-way ticket to Rwanda
More boats carrying dozens of migrants onboard arrived in Britain today after being intercepted by Border Forces.
The asylum seekers attempted to reach Dover before new UK Government rules come into force.
The Government announced last week it plans to provide failed asylum seekers, including those crossing the Channel in small boats, with a one-way ticket to Rwanda, where they will have the right to apply to live in the African country.
Government minister Greg Hands has denied that the UK is outsourcing its responsibilities by sending migrants to Rwanda, after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, criticised the move.
The Home Secretary has challenged those against her plan to send migrants to Rwanda to come up with a better idea to tackle small boat crossings in the Channel.
An exchange of letters published by the Home Office on Saturday night showed the department’s permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft warned Ms Patel that although the policy was “regular, proper and feasible”, there was “uncertainty surrounding the value for money of the proposal”.
Issuing a rare ministerial direction compelling the plans to go ahead despite the concern, the Home Secretary said: “Without action, costs will continue to rise, lives will continue to be lost.”
The UN’s refugee agency has criticised the plans and called the move a breach of international law.
A Home Office spokesman said: “Rwanda is a fundamentally safe and secure country with a track record of supporting asylum seekers, including working with the UN Refugee Agency which said the country has a safe and protective environment for refugees.
“This world-leading Migration Partnership will overhaul the UK’s broken asylum system. It means those arriving dangerously, illegally or unnecessarily into the UK can be relocated to have their claims for asylum considered and, if recognised as refugees, to build their lives there.
“Under this agreement, Rwanda will process claims in accordance with the UN Refugee Convention, national and international human rights laws, and will ensure their protection from inhuman and degrading treatment or being returned to the place they originally fled. There is nothing in the UN Refugee Convention which prevents removal to a safe country.”