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Sunak plan to cap number of refugees coming to the UK ‘humane’ says Welsh Secretary

25 Jul 2022 5 minute read
Rishi Sunak at Westminster. Picture by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (CC BY-ND 2.0). New Welsh Secretary Robert Buckland. Photo Jonathan Brady PA Images.

Rishi Sunak’s immigration plans, including placing a cap on the number of refugees accepted by the UK each year, are “humane” according to the new Welsh Secretary.

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a number of measures including withholding of aid from some of the world’s poorest countries if they refuse to take back failed asylum seekers, in what is being seen as an arms race of immigration policy with leadership rival Liz Truss.

But South Swindon MP Robert Buckland, who was appointed Welsh Secretary by Boris Johnson two and a half weeks ago, said that the UK Government was “hospitable, generous and warm-hearted when it comes to refugees”.

The former Secretary of State for Justice, who is backing Rishi Sunak for the party’s leadership, said that the plan did not “get away from the compassionate nature of our country”.

Announcing his immigration plan yesterday, Rishi Sunak said that there was “absolutely nothing racist” about wanting to stop people from entering the UK.

He has launched a 10-point plan which includes “making our Rwanda Partnership work,” “sending failed asylum seekers and foreign criminals back home” and “holding the French to account with clear targets for stopping boats”.

“Law-abiding citizens are dismayed when they see boat after boat full of illegal immigrants coming from the safe country of France with our sailors and coastguards seemingly powerless to stop them,” he said.

‘Formality’

In an interview on GB News, Welsh Secretary Buckland defended the plan, saying: “Let’s not forget that before a person is deemed a refugee there is a due process of law. They are an asylum seeker first and then a determination is made about their status.

“I think it’s really important that he [Rishi Sunak] focuses upon the fundamental definition which is in a convention that we signed up to 70 years ago. And I think it’s important as well as he does that we focus on enforcement of the rules.

“I think our country is hospitable, generous and warm-hearted when it comes to refugees, as we’ve seen with Ukraine and other countries. But many people tell me that they want the rules enforced, if people have exhausted their applications and no longer should be here, then action needs to be taken in order to deport them.

“But I think the idea that Rishi is coming up with I think forms the basis of a sensible package incentivising other countries to take back people who’ve come here unlawfully.”

He added that Rishi Sunak was proposing a parliamentary vote every year on the number of refugees to be accepted in the UK with of course an exception for emergencies, such as the one we saw with Ukraine that actually gives Parliament a big say in the process.

“We’ve had lots of debates about what is a reasonable number with ALF Dubs and others putting amendments to parliamentary bills, why not actually make that a formality and make that a part of the process within Parliament whereby we have this proper debate about what a reasonable number should look like,” Robert Buckland said.

“I think the important point is that involving parliament in this decision-making makes it a much more accountable process. And also there will be exceptions, of course for emergencies, such as the one we’ve seen this year. I don’t think this gets away from the compassionate nature of our country.

“In fact, the details of Rishi’s plans about getting people out of hotels and providing more beds actually provide a much better and clearer framework for refugees and asylum seekers. It is, I think, a humane, compassionate and sensible approach to an issue that does cause concern due to the exploitation of innocent people by criminal gangs.”

‘Tougher’

Rival leadership candidate Liz Truss has claimed his immigration plans could breach domestic human rights law.

A source close to Ms Truss said: “As Foreign Secretary, Liz worked closely with Priti Patel to formulate the generation-defining Rwanda policy.

“As Prime Minister she will do whatever it takes to protect our borders. She’s been frustrated with the ECHR and its mission creep.

“She is prepared to take a tougher stance and deliver the reforms required so the ECHR works for Britain.”

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies tweeted this morning in supporting of a tougher immigration policy.

“One of the many problems with Labour’s plan to scrap the Rwanda partnership and try to infiltrate people smuggling gangs, is that it does not undermine the business model of the gangs,” he said.

“If we take down a gang, another will spring up, because the demand will still be there.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago

What an unseemly collection of individuals we have striving in the most shameful way to take on the mantle of Fat Shanks Johnson. The remaining members of the Commonwealth excluding Australia and Canada must be seriously considering their status right now. When the last Governor General takes their leave of Wales there will be a great rejoicing…

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
4 months ago

Having lied to all and sundry it now transpires that Rwanda will not take “thousands” but 200 asylum seekers thus costing £600,000 each before we pay for their flights and keep.
Are these fools willing to pay £600K a head to get rid of people, if so can me and her indoors get a free flight and £1.2M?

hdavies15
hdavies15
4 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

That’s what you get when a host of dilettantes get their paws on the public purse. They just love pi**ing other people’s money into the wind.

I am almost agreeing with Buckland but for a vastly differing reason – why should refugees/asylum seekers come to a shabby UK which is rapidly going down the drain when there are other more pleasant destinations on this planet ?

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
4 months ago

Can somebody correct me if I am wrong, but are these not the flag waving Tories who claim that the British Empire was wonderful? Surely they recall that as part of the spread of that Empire there was pressure on ‘Native Peoples’ to learn to speak English. Now that many of those countries are suffering catastrophies from Climate Breakdown to Famine & War, surely the obvious place to seek refuge is England. With a knowledge of English they can fit in right away. So why is this great benefit of the British Empire being spurned by the Tories?

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

But you forget, that after the 2nd world war, all those Brown and Black people who had perfectly good qualifications and could speak fluent english, were overlooked for the German speaking nazis that the west had just been to war with, because they were white and would “fit in” easily, Sometimes you have to wonder if the 3rd Riech really did end in 1945

Hell Glibson
Hell Glibson
4 months ago

Are you suggesting that, after WW2, and contrary to popular common sense, Britain imported more ‘white Nazis’ than it did ‘black & brown’ people?

Deserves some explanation.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
4 months ago
Reply to  Hell Glibson

For those of us who like to see the humourous side of politics, it is worth in this particular context to point out that the Right Wing ‘Leave’ campaign was run on an anti-immigrant theme and ‘stopping free movement’. I saw recent figures that pointed out that the De Piffle trade agreement with India includes free movement of skilled workers. I also saw official figures that showed that official immigration since Brexit has been overwhelmingly of Black and Brown people. So under Brexit we have ‘taken back control’ and stopped ‘free movement’ of mainly white Christian Europeans and replaced it… Read more »

Hell Glibson
Hell Glibson
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

I was saying precisely this prior to the Brexit voting taking place. So many people I spoke with were voting for Brexit as they felt endangered by a massive influx of potential terrorists and extremists, amidst attacks on England over previous years. I had to ask them: in which of the EU countries do these Muslim extremists, radicals and anti-western types originate? Which of the EU’s member states is an Islamic republic exporting these crazed malcontents? I suspect the political mood would have been more satisfied by an actual referendum on multi-culturalism. But the guardians of what passes for decency… Read more »

George
George
4 months ago

Is it better to have a system where:

i) Prime Minster in waiting deceives their political party so can get into power before doing something else once power obtained, or
ii) Prime Minister in waiting moves their thinking more in line with their party membership then follows through once in government even if this isn’t popular and potentially makes things worse.

Kier Starmer chose to deceive and we’re now waiting to see if Tory leader does the same or chooses option ii. In this case, option ii will make things much worse for everyone.

I Humphrys
I Humphrys
4 months ago

Population density of China is 153 per sq mtr.
Population density of England 280 per sq mtr.

Hell Glibson
Hell Glibson
4 months ago
Reply to  I Humphrys

Raciiiiist!

I speak on behalf of all decent people.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
4 months ago

Afraid “talking tough on immigration” is the default position for any candidate for the tory party leadership – along with other hard right mantras that demonise trade unions, the public sector and people on benefits. What a thoroughly nasty party they are! Nye Bevan’s famous musing on the nature of the uk tories was spot on.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
4 months ago

how many of the posters here took in a Ukrainian refuge? answer: zero.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
4 months ago

Ahem…..some of us have been involved in solidarity work in support of refugees and asylum seekers for years Mark.

Last edited 4 months ago by Leigh Richards
Erisian
Erisian
4 months ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

yes but he was asking have you or anyone here taken anyone into their home?

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
4 months ago
Reply to  Erisian

No one here has to explain themselves to him….or any intercessor 😉

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