UK’s new PM scraps Rwanda deportation scheme, declaring it ‘dead and buried’

UK’s new PM scraps Rwanda deportation scheme, declaring it ‘dead and buried’

The newly elected British Prime Minister, Keir Starmer, has said he is scrapping his predecessor’s controversial policy to deport asylum-seekers to Rwanda, describing the scheme “dead and buried before it started”.

On his first full day as a Prime Minister, Starmer announced that the Rwandan deportation scheme will be nullified, noting that it was expensive and would be replaced with more effective measures to curtail illegal immigration. During his campaign, he had stated that the policy, which had already cost the UK almost $400 million, would be replaced with more efficient methods for combating illegal immigration.

The “gimmick” Rwanda scheme, which the former Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, advocated passionately for, “was dead and buried before it started,” because, as Starmer pointed out, “it’s never acted as a deterrent. Almost the opposite.”

Yet, the cessation of the program, which aimed to deport migrants coming into the UK unlawfully to Rwanda, raises concerns about the fate of 52,000 migrants designated for deportation. “Labor is going to need to find a solution to the small boats coming across the channel,” Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, said. “It’s going to ditch the Rwanda scheme, but it’s going to have to come up with other solutions to deal with that particular problem.”

Starmer has pledged to tackle the issue “upstream”, with a new policy centered on an “elite” Border Security Command and the domestic intelligence service M15, by smashing the people-smuggling gangs behind the crossings. Starmer’s Labor Party delivered the biggest blow to the Conservatives in their two-century history last Friday (5 July) in a landslide victory on a platform of change.

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