May 21, 2024

Sunak's Rwanda plan hurts Britain and the West

Comment Migration

Sunak's Rwanda plan hurts Britain and the West

“Let me tell you about Rwanda. I've been there before.”

Rishi Sunak's asylum deal with Rwanda causes a stir: On WELT TV, political reporter Jörg Wimalasena and CDU politician Philip Amthor discuss the pros and cons of Great Britain's plan to deport migrants to third countries and the implications for Europe.

The British Prime Minister has introduced legislation to deport illegal immigrants to Rwanda in East Africa. By doing so, he has set a dangerous precedent for party tactics to fall prey to.

SSelf-help enthusiasts swear by the Expression Technique. They ritualistically repeat a sentence to fix a desired goal in consciousness and change reality accordingly. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak can currently be considered a fan of this tactic. The phrase “Rwanda is a safe third country” has become his daily mantra. Unfortunately for the conservative, despite his unwavering will, the reality is different.

On Monday evening, after months of struggle, the Prime Minister pushed a migration bill through the British Parliament that would allow illegal immigrants to be deported to the East African country of Rwanda. The first flights are scheduled to begin in ten to twelve weeks.

The law is aimed at preventing small boat migrants, 30,000 of whom crossed the English Channel to the UK last year. During the talks, parliamentarians from both houses of parliament strongly criticized the law to declare Rwanda a safe third country – even though the British Supreme Court had ruled to the contrary four months earlier.

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The judges then ruled that Rwanda lacked a safe asylum procedure and criticized the political persecution and human rights situation. They cited a case from 2018: 12 refugees were killed in clashes with Rwandan police during a demonstration against cuts in food supplies. Witnesses reported that police officers opened fire on people.

However, the British government responded to criticism with half-hearted measures, some of which have yet to be implemented. Britain's recent take-in of four refugees from Rwanda shows how little the Conservatives trust their own law.

International courts may intervene again

Sunak's penchant for self-delusion is due to his hopes of saving his conservative party from the polls before the general election through radical immigration legislation. To achieve this, he is going to extremes: the British government has transferred €280m to Kigali by December – without a single deportation plane taking off yet.

The law also restricts the right to challenge deportation and allows British courts to ignore rulings by international bodies such as the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Dilemma: Such protest may be legal at the national level, but not at the international level. Britain is a member of the Council of Europe and ignoring its court rulings would be a breach of its treaty obligations. Two years ago, the ECHR stopped British deportation flights to Rwanda. At the time, the Conservative government still grumbled and bowed to the verdict. Now things may turn out differently.

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But Sunak's short-sighted approach to European immigration is damaging to Great Britain's reputation and, beyond that, to that of Western states. By setting a dangerous precedent that delegitimizes the West's institutional anchors, conservatives weaken the West. Yes, a European solution to immigration is urgently needed, politicians are essential “out of the box” They think But exposing the problem as Sunak does is the wrong approach.

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