Rishi Sunak Pushes Rwanda Scheme Amid English Channel Tragedy

Rishi Sunak Pushes Rwanda Scheme Amid English Channel Tragedy
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London (Parliament News) – PM Rishi Sunak emphasizes the necessity of the Rwanda asylum scheme following a tragedy in the English Channel, where five people, including a child, died attempting to cross.

PM Rishi Sunak has said that the deaths of five people including a child while trying to cross the English Channel emphasises the need for the deterrent of the Rwanda scheme. The disaster off the coast of northern France arrived just hours after Parliament passed legislation seeking to put the Rwanda asylum scheme into effect. The Prime Minister stated criminal gangs were exploiting the weak and “packing more and more people into these unseaworthy dinghies”.

How Did the Tragedy in the Channel Occur?

According to the Standard, at around 6 am on Tuesday, a dinghy carrying more than 100 people set off from Wimereux and got into difficulties. Three men, a woman and a girl died, according to the French coastguard. Some 49 people were recovered but 58 others declined to leave the boat and continued their travels towards the UK, the coastguard stated in a statement, adding that several other boats later embarked on the crossing. The National Crime Agency stated it would be supporting the French inquiry into the deaths with UK police and Border Force.

What Prompted the Urgency for Deterrent?

During a flight to Poland, Mr Sunak informed reporters the incident “highlights why you need a deterrent”.

He stated: “We want to prevent people from making these very dangerous crossings. If you look at what’s happening, criminal gangs are exploiting vulnerable people. They are packing more and more people into these unseaworthy dinghies. We’ve seen an enormous increase in the numbers per boat over the past few years.

“This is what tragically happens when they push people out to sea and that’s why, for matters of compassion more than anything else, we must actually break this business model and end this unfairness of people coming to our country illegally.”

More migrants pushed the journey to the UK after an eight-day break in any intersections being recorded.

Young children and babies were among those noticed arriving in Dover on Tuesday.

The incident at Wimereux happened around four hours after the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration Bill) cleared Parliament.

Preparations for the first flights to Rwanda will start within days, with asylum seekers who could be resettled being identified and potentially detained.

Charter planes are anticipated to leave for Rwanda in 10-12 weeks, with Mr Sunak optimistic “multiple flights a month”, although ministers conceded numbers being sent to Kigali will be small at first.

What is the Cost and Funding Breakdown?

Some £290 million has already been dedicated to the Rwanda scheme, with a further £100 million earmarked over the next two years.

The cost of putting each migrant on an aircraft is expected to reach £11,000 while Rwanda will get £20,000 for each asylum seeker resettled there and a £120 million top-up once 300 have reached.

Will Rishi Sunak Overcome Legal Obstacles?

The Prime Minister stated: “The passing of this landmark legislation is not just a step forward but a fundamental shift in the global equation on migration. We presented the Rwanda Bill to deter vulnerable migrants from creating perilous crossings and break the business model of the criminal gangs who exploit them.

“The passing of this legislation will permit us to do that and make it very clear that if you come here illegally, you will not be capable of staying. Our priority is to now get flights off the ground, and I am obvious that nothing will stand in our way of doing that and saving lives.”

Mr Sunak has pressed he will not let the European Court of Human Rights stop flights to Rwanda.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.