May 19, 2024

Dirty Deals – Refugee deal between Great Britain and Rwanda

Anyone who has managed to cross the English Channel to England in a rubber dinghy has completed a life-threatening journey – but is still a long way from reaching their dream destination. After months of debate, the British Parliament has passed a law that will allow the deportation of asylum seekers who illegally entered Rwanda.

Imagine you are coming from Afghanistan or Syria and want to flee to the UK – and you end up in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. For many people this is difficult to imagine. On the other hand, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak feels happy about this opportunity, as if his government had found a long-awaited magic formula to solve his country's asylum policy.

The Prime Minister said that this was a “fundamental change in the global migration system,” explaining the decision in euphemisms: the law would prevent migrants from dangerously crossing the English Channel and “break the business model of the criminal gangs that exploit them.” “The phony sea rescuer and smuggler hunter wants primarily to deter migrants: if they come to Great Britain illegally, they cannot stay.

Rishi Sunak is hoping he can score political points in time for the next election and pull the Tories out of their slump. Because he himself is in political distress. The new law now allows for the implementation of the Asylum Partnership Agreement with Rwanda. This includes transferring asylum seekers whose claims have not been processed by the UK to the East African country. The latter decides whether to grant the refugees the right to stay or not.

The project was already on the verge of cancellation after the European Court of Human Rights halted a flight to Rwanda in 2022 and the High Court in London invalidated the agreement in November 2023 because shortcomings in the Rwanda asylum system had been identified. It was not considered a safe third country that was designated. President Paul Kagame has succeeded in bringing stability to his country, but he is holding the country back. The head of state rules in an authoritarian manner. He is accused of tampering with elections and suppressing the opposition. Rwanda is safe above all for people who do not question the system. He receives a lot of money to implement the asylum agreement. Great Britain has established a $430 million fund for Rwanda, which will be used, among other things, for education and health. More money will follow.

The Rwanda deal is not only expensive, it violates human rights, international lawyer Holger Hestermeyer said daily Confirm. The British government is also working to erode the rule of law. Moreover, the project could set a dangerous precedent and give other countries similar ideas. It appears that some in Sunak's Conservative Party dream of a time when the British ruled a colonial empire on which “the sun never sets.” Last but not least, this is just what the European Union, from which Great Britain left, has been doing for a long time: dirty dealings with autocrats that lead to questionable dependence on them – and all at their expense. Of immigrants.