PM Rishi Sunak Criticizes Ireland’s Handling of Asylum Issues

PM Rishi Sunak Criticizes Ireland's Handling of Asylum Issues

London (Parliament News) – PM Rishi Sunak criticizes Ireland for alleged cherry-picking of international agreements amid tensions over asylum seekers. The UK insists on no border checkpoints while Ireland expresses concerns and plans to address the issue.

UK PM Rishi Sunak risks inflaming his row with Ireland over the return of asylum seekers after he blamed the Irish government for “cherry-picking” international agreements. The Prime Minister expressed his administration was pursuing “urgent clarification” that there would be no further checkpoints at or near the border with Northern Ireland as strains between London and Dublin escalate.

How Are Tensions Escalating Between UK and Ireland?

Ireland has hit out at what it states is a high number of recent arrivals coming from the UK.

It has stated it will redeploy 100 police officers to deal with the issue, although it has denied that these will be employed along the border, the scene of much violence during the Troubles.

The Irish cabinet has also supported a plan to start returns to the UK, something Mr Sunak states the UK will not accept. An open border is a fundamental tenet of the Good Friday Agreement, which brought the Troubles to an end.

What Is Rishi Sunak’s Stance on Asylum Seeker Returns?

Mr Sunak informed MPs there could not be “cherry-picking” of international arrangements from the Irish government. He stated the UK had “made commitments to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and … the Irish government must uphold its promises too.

“We can’t have cherry-picking of important international agreements and so the Secretary of State is seeking urgent clarification that there will be no trouble or police checkpoints at or near the border.”

He contended: “And I can confirm that the United Kingdom has no legal obligation to accept returns of illegal migrants from Ireland.” He claimed his administration’s “robust approach to illegal migration” – his controversial scheme to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda – was demonstrating a deterrent to migrants coming to Britain. But he added “The answer is not sending police to villages in Donegal (near the border with Northern Ireland). It’s to work with us in partnership to strengthen our external borders all around the Common Travel Area that we share.”

How Does Ireland Respond to the UK’s Criticism?

The Irish Department of Justice has declined to publish an operational arrangement it says provides for returning asylum petitioners to the UK. No 10 insists it is “non-binding” and states that Ireland has not returned anyone to the UK since Brexit.

On Sunday Irish premier Simon Harris stated Ireland would not “provide a loophole” for other countries’ migration “challenges”. Mr Sunak has stated the UK is “not interested” in any returns deal if the EU does not allow the UK to deport asylum seekers back to France.

Daniele Naddei

Daniele Naddei is a journalist at Parliament News covering European affairs, was born in Naples on April 8, 1991. He also serves as the Director of the CentroSud24 newspaper. During the period from 2010 to 2013, Naddei completed an internship at the esteemed local radio station Radio Club 91. Subsequently, he became the author of a weekly magazine published by the Italian Volleyball Federation of Campania (FIPAV Campania), which led to his registration in the professional order of Journalists of Campania in early 2014, listed under publicists. From 2013 to 2018, he worked as a freelance photojournalist and cameraman for external services for Rai and various local entities, including TeleCapri, CapriEvent, and TLA. Additionally, between 2014 and 2017, Naddei collaborated full-time with various newspapers in Campania, both in print and online. During this period, he also resumed his role as Editor-in-Chief at Radio Club 91.
Naddei is actively involved as a press officer for several companies and is responsible for editing cultural and social events in the city through his association with the Medea Fattoria Sociale. This experience continued until 2021. Throughout these years, he hosted or collaborated on football sports programs for various local broadcasters, including TLA, TvLuna, TeleCapri, Radio Stonata, Radio Amore, and Radio Antenna Uno.
From 2016 to 2018, Naddei was employed as an editor at newspapers of national interest within the circuit, including Internazionale24, Salute24, and OggiScuola. Since 2019, Naddei has been one of the creators of the Rabona television program "Calcio è Passione," which has been broadcast on TeleCapri Sport since 2023.