UK Home Secretary discusses contentious repatriation plan while in Rwanda2 days ago
British Home Secretary Suella Braverman arrived in Rwanda on Saturday to discuss a controversial agreement which will see the UK deport asylum seekers deemed to have arrived illegally to the African nation. The scheme is mired in legal difficulties and Braverman's visit has been criticized as she invited journalists from right-wing titles to accompany her, excluding liberal ones. Before departing, Braverman reaffirmed her commitment to the scheme, saying it would act as a powerful deterrent against dangerous and illegal journeys. However, Sonya Sceats, chief executive of the charity Freedom from Torture, told CNN this is "profoundly misguided." She added that the decision to invite only government-friendly media on the trip "confirms that they've stopped even pretending that they are speaking to the entire country on this issue." The UK government has made stopping migrants arriving in small boats on its shores a top priority. The Illegal Migration Bill, which is being debated in Parliament, gives the government the right to deport anyone arriving illegally in the UK.
This includes refugees coming from war torn societies, who will face immediate removal either to their country of origin or a third country. However, there are concerns that the proposed legislation is illegal, as it violates the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Court of Human Rights. There are also concerns that the bill is unworkable, as the Rwandan government has indicated that it can only process 1,000 asylum seekers over the initial five-year period. 45,755 people are estimated to have arrived in the UK via small boats taken across the English Channel in 2022 alone.