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First Minister blasts UK Government’s ‘cruel and inhumane’ Rwanda asylum plans

14 Apr 2022 4 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford picture by Senedd Cymru. Priti Patel (left) by Richard Townshend (CC BY 3.0).

Mark Drakeford has called the UK Government’s announcement of a £120 million scheme to send asylum seekers to Rwanda to be processed “a cynical distraction from the Prime Minister’s law breaking”.

The Government will announce full details of the multimillion-pound plans for asylum seekers who cross the Channel in small boats to be flown for processing to Rwanda later today.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to sign a deal with the East African nation during a visit on Thursday, with people seeking sanctuary in the UK to be sent more than 4,000 miles.

Some of those who make the perilous crossing of the Channel, as well as by other means deemed “illegal” by the Government, would be sent to Rwanda while their claims are assessed “offshore”.

An initial £120 million is expected to be given to the Rwandan government under a trial scheme, which is being criticised by refugee charities as a “cruel and nasty decision” that will fail to address the issue and “lead to more human suffering and chaos”.

In a Tweet, Wales’ First Minister said: “The UK Government’s plans to send asylum seekers and refugees to Rwanda is cruel and inhumane.

“This is not the way to treat people seeking safety and sanctuary.

“This is nothing more than a cynical distraction from the Prime Minister’s law breaking.”

Liz Saville Roberts, the leader of Plaid Cymru’s Westminster group, also took aim at the government’s proposals in a tweet..

“This government have the humanitarian instincts of hyenas,” She said

“Tossing red meat to rabid supporters No 10 desperate for a figleaf for PM’s shredded reputation.”

Step forward

Simon Hart, the Secretary of State for Wales defended the plan during a round of media interviews this morning, claiming the arrangement  has the potential to be a “really humane step forward”.

Mr Hart, the MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire also said the plan has the potential to ‘break up and deter criminal gangs’ involved in transporting vulnerable people to the UK.

He claimed transporting migrants to Rwanda would “reduce the horrible level of exploitation and improve the chances for people who have crossed half the world at huge emotional and personal and financial expense”.

He told Sky News: “We have a very good relationship with Rwanda: It’s an up-and-coming economy, it has got a very good record with migrants in this particular issue.

“And it’s an arrangement which I think suits both countries very well and provides the best opportunities for economic migrants, for those who have been in the forefront of this particular appalling problem for so long now.

“And I think that this arrangement is a really… it has the potential to be a really good step forward and a really humane step forward.”

When pressed on the fact the president of Rwanda has been accused of human rights abuses on more than one occasion, Mr Hart said: “That is true, but that doesn’t alter the fact that their reputation as far as migrants are concerned, and their economic progress, is phenomenal.”

Barbaric

Human rights campaigners have described the Government’s plan as “barbaric”, “cowardly” “shockingly ill-conceived”.

Steve Valdez-Symonds, Amnesty International UK’s refugee and migrant rights director, said that the African nation had a “dismal human rights record”.

In a statement to the PA news agency, Mr Valdez-Symonds said: “Sending people to another country – let alone one with such a dismal human rights record – for asylum ‘processing’ is the very height of irresponsibility and shows how far removed from humanity and reality the Government now is on asylum issues.

“The Government is already wrecking our asylum system at huge cost to the taxpayer while causing terrible anxiety to the people stuck in the backlogs it has created.”

“But this shockingly ill-conceived idea will go far further in inflicting suffering while wasting huge amounts of public money.”

Another refugee advocacy group issued a withering assessment of the scheme, calling it a “grubby cash-for-people plan” that was “cowardly” and “barbaric”.

The chief executive of Refugee Action Tim Naor Hilton accused the Government of “offshoring its responsibilities onto Europe’s former colonies instead of doing our fair share to help some of the most vulnerable people on the planet”.

He added that the UK should have learnt from “Australia’s horrific experiment” of sending refugees “thousands of miles away” to camps where they experienced “rampant abuse” as well as “rape, murder and suicide”.

“This grubby cash-for-people plan would be a cowardly, barbaric and inhumane way to treat people fleeing persecution and war,” Mr Naor Hilton said.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 months ago

She must be the most photo shopped politician in Britain, at least N.C have chosen to show this cruel and heartless person as she really looks…

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Good job they left out her big fat arse !

William Glyn THOMAS
William Glyn THOMAS
2 months ago

The French are far more benevolent, they have sent buses to the border and will several drop-off points. Rather a different approach by Westminster – we challenge you to cross the Channel in rubber duck dinghies and if you are successful we’ll fly you to Rwanda.

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago

Next zany plan will be to send white refugees, asylum seekers, migrants indeed any class of “arrival” to Africa while those who are deemed BAME or whatever the “in phrase” might be will be shipped to the Falklands, South Georgia or some other points South. That will enable Boris the Fibber and Smirky Patel to turn up at news briefings to tell us that there is no problem in the U.K !

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Oh they are way ahead of you. This is not a plan to send them for “processing”. The plan is to take men, women and children directly off the boats to an airport and transport them to Rwanda for “resettlement” and “relocation”. They won’t be coming back. Now the two things you have to bear in mind are that Patel’s Home Office are deliberately placing obstacles in the way of honest asylum seekers forcing them onto the boats and that the Immigration and Borders Bill is still in the Lords. The Tory government are creating the problem then overriding parliamentary… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 months ago

There are so many unanswered questions still. 1: What will be the living conditions. Will those camps be tented or hut dwellings? What will be the security Will the camps be surrounded by razor-wire or electrified fences akin to a prison or concentration camp ? And which country has sovereignty over the facility. Britain, Rwanda, or both? A big concern will be the reason why the Tories are using Rwanda because of its a poor country and its government has a poor human rights record. 2: Will their be armed guards?. If so will they be from either Rwandan or… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Y Cymro
Quornby
Quornby
2 months ago

Let’s hope we can “break up and deter” the criminal gang running Westminster.

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

This criminal gang has its paws all over the country’s legal system so they will get away with all sorts of deviations, pay the odd fine but will never be shamed or embarrassed by discovery.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Priti Patel, daughter of economic migrants herself from Pakistan. The irony.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
2 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Not True.Priti Patel’s parents were Ugandan Asians who were forced out of Uganda by Idi Amin in 1972

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
2 months ago
Reply to  Johnny Gamble

Were they actually forced out, or did they leave before getting forced out?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 months ago

Is there no surprise teflon Tory fascist Boris Johnson announces this policy within days after being fined for breaking multiple times lockdown rules and is likely to be fined again. And we have the undignified sight now of his Wenglish Tory underlings appease apologise and defend the indefensible is skin crawling. He as I write is currently on TV all knowledgeable announcing this news of sending migrants to Rwanda where in fact he likely hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about because this is a man who wasn’t aware he was attending a birthday party let alone fathom the consequences… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Y Cymro
Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 months ago

“Prime Minister, do you really want the numbers of illegal immigrants crossing the channel to be zero?”
“Yes.”
“Will you start with the Saxons, the Normans or the Turkish Americans?”

Gareth Wardell
Gareth Wardell
2 months ago

It

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 months ago

At least she’s had a break from the Westminster jungle…

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
2 months ago

It would be far better for all of us if the Tory party was sent to Rwanda instead.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

I wouldn’t even wish that on The people of Rwanda.

Llinos
Llinos
2 months ago

Priti Patel, so pretty on the outside, so ugly on the inside

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  Llinos

Best you go to Specsavers !

Llinos
Llinos
2 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Oh come on hdavies15 you don’t have to like someone to acknowledge the truth. She has a very pretty face and the most gorgeous cheekbones … underneath those dead, soulless eyes.

The original mark
The original mark
2 months ago

Israel pays Rwanda $5000 per asylum seeker they accept from them. Nice to know the english government are aligning themselves with an apartheid government.

Llinos
Llinos
2 months ago

So that’s what Priti was doing visiting Israel all those times when she should have been working

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
2 months ago
Reply to  Llinos

apparently they don’t do this any more, due to the fact that most of the refugees they sent to Rwanda turned up in Europe a few months later, at least the ones who didn’t disappear all together?

Phil Jones
Phil Jones
2 months ago

To misquote Pastor Niemeyer – “First they came for the migrants and I did nothing, then they came for………?
If you tolerate this ?………

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