Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Sunak: Migrants going to Ireland shows Rwanda plan’s deterrent effect working

27 Apr 2024 4 minute read
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Benjamin Cremel /PA Wire

Rishi Sunak said claims the Rwanda plan is causing an influx of migrants into Ireland show its deterrent effect is working.

“The deterrent is … already having an impact because people are worried about coming here,” the Prime Minister said.

It comes after deputy Irish premier Micheal Martin said the UK’s asylum policy is driving migrants in fear of being deported to Rwanda across the border from Northern Ireland into the Republic.

Ministers plan to send asylum seekers coming to the UK on a one-way flight to the east African nation, with the aim of deterring others from crossing the English Channel on small boats.

The legislation ensuring the plan is legally sound, the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Act, cleared its passage through Parliament this week and was signed into law on Thursday.

Challenged

In an interview with Sky News’ Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips, which will air in full on Sunday, the Prime Minister was challenged over whether the UK is simply exporting the problem.

Mr Sunak said: “My focus is on the United Kingdom and securing our borders.

“But what that comment illustrates is a couple of things.

“One, that illegal migration is a global challenge, which is why you’re seeing multiple countries talk about doing third country partnerships, looking at novel ways to solve this problem, and I believe will follow where the UK has led.

“But what it also shows, I think, is that the deterrent is, according to your comment, already having an impact because people are worried about coming here and that demonstrates exactly what I’m saying.

“If people come to our country illegally, but know that they won’t be able to stay, they’re much less likely to come, and that’s why the Rwanda scheme is so important.”

Downing Street on Friday rebuffed claims the Rwanda plan was already influencing movements into Ireland, saying it was too early to jump to conclusions on its impact.

Increase

Mr Martin, who also serves as Ireland’s foreign affairs minister, told reporters in Dublin on Friday: “Clearly, we’ve had an increase in the numbers coming into Northern Ireland into the Republic. And it’s fairly obvious that a Rwanda policy, if you’re a person in a given situation in the UK and well, then you don’t want to go to Rwanda – not that anybody has gone yet, I hasten to add.

“So I think it’s a fair comment of mine. There are many other issues – it’s not in any way trying to blame anything or anything like that.”

But a No 10 spokeswoman told journalists in Westminster: “It is too early to jump to specific conclusions about the impact of the Act and treaty in terms of migrant behaviour.

“Of course, we will monitor this very closely and we already work very closely as you would expect with the Irish government, including on matters relating to asylum.

“But of course, the intention behind the Act is to have it serve as a deterrent and that is why we are working to get flights off the ground as swiftly as possible.”

Mr Sunak this week acknowledged it could still take 10 to 12 weeks to get flights in the air, in a blow to his earlier target of seeing this take place in the “spring” of this year.

Irish ministers earlier this week suggested there had been a rise in the number of migrants crossing the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Justice minister Helen McEntee told a committee of the Irish Parliament the number was now “higher than 80%” crossing from Northern Ireland.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
7 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Y Cymro
Y Cymro
16 days ago

Conservative dictator Rishy Sunak is grabbing at straws as usual. He knows he won’t be in a job soon, and like most authoritarian nutjobs is announcing daily extreme polices to appeal to his far-right paymasters and little England voter base out of fear that the Tories will hemorrhage votes to English fascist Richard Tice’s rehashed Ukip/Brexit party, Reform UK. Sunak’s is so desperate he actually thinks his Rwanda bill will deter asylum seekers or speedup the 160,000+ awaiting processing forgetting that Brexit is not only the cause of the influx of people crossing the channel fleeing warzones & conflicts Britain’s… Read more »

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
16 days ago

It looks like old Rishi is trying to move the goal posts. Wasn’t this Rwanda policy aimed at stopping the boats crossing the English Channel, which it hasn’t? Be sure the Tories will pump this Eire influx of immigrants to the full while children continue to die in desperate crossings elsewhere. The GE is just a round the corner.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

We could do with some proper data on this. If I was a refugee who managed to get to England and was placed in the endless queue to be processed I would notice the hostile policy towards refugees, the lack of EU free movement, etc. and decide that Ireland was a better bet. After all I came to England because I could speak English, but they speak English in Ireland so no problem trying to fit in there. The Rwanda threat? Any intelligent refugee could soon find out that it is simple a smoke screen.

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
16 days ago

We need refugee centres in Cymru to help these desperate people. Cymru needs to show how welcoming countries behave.

CapM
CapM
16 days ago
Reply to  Rhddwen y Sais

You’re playing catch up.

https://wrc.wales/cy/hafan/

Jeff
Jeff
15 days ago

And Ireland will do a UK, but can we be condidered a safe country if we will harm refugees.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c2vw51eggwqo

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
15 days ago

So. what is there to stop them hopping across to mainland from Ireland! Is he really that naive? Or, once again, clutching at straws. Time you went old chap!

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.