The Labour Party stands firm against these proposals.
Announcing the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda was a desperate and shameful attempt by Boris Johnson to distract from his own law breaking.
Priti Patel is casting around to distract from the fact that Home Office decision making has collapsed – delays and incompetence mean she is taking 50% fewer asylum decisions than 5 years ago. Instead of tackling the growing backlog and delays or drawing up a proper security and migration agreement with France to tackle dangerous boat crossings, the Home Secretary is putting forward unworkable and truly shameful plans.
Labour would sort out the chaos and delays in the Home Office under Priti Patel so that asylum decisions are taken much faster and the backlog is cleared. It is shameful that under Priti Patel the Home Office has become so poor and slow at taking asylum decisions they are now asking Rwanda to do it instead – an unworkable, unethical and extortionate policy that would cost the UK taxpayer billions of pounds during a cost of living crisis and would make it harder not easier to get fast and fair asylum decisions.
We need much stronger security and co-operation to stop crossings, tackle vile people smuggling and prevent awful loss of life in the channel. Labour put forward plans to criminalise advertising smuggling on social media but the government rejected them.
We also need to make sure there are safe, legal routes to sanctuary for refugees fleeing war and conflict to stop people being exploited by smuggler gangs. Labour has been pushing for the government to establish safe and legal routes too, including a Dubs scheme for family reunion. Ministers promised for years that they would get returns agreements in place with EU countries but they have none. Even in the face of a refugee crisis in Europe, the Government is still failing to listen.
I will continue to work with my Labour colleagues to oppose this abhorrent policy.