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Keir Starmer Says UK's Rwanda Migrant Deportation Plan Will Be Scrapped

Saturday, July 6, 2024 | July 06, 2024 WIB
Keir Starmer Says UK's Rwanda Migrant Deportation Plan Will Be Scrapped
Keir Starmer at Number 10 Downing Street British Prime Minister Keir Starmer [Phil Noble/Reuters]

London, UK - British Prime Minister Keir Starmer has announced that his government will not continue with the controversial Rwanda migrant deportation plan, initiated by the previous Conservative administration. In his first news conference since Labour's landslide victory in the general election, Starmer declared the scheme "dead and buried."

"The Rwanda scheme was dead and buried before it started. It's never been a deterrent," Starmer stated on Saturday, following a cabinet meeting. He emphasized his unwillingness to persist with what he called "gimmicks that don't act as a deterrent," describing the plan as a "problem that we are inheriting."

This decision marks a significant shift in UK immigration policy. The Rwanda plan, championed by former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, aimed to deter asylum seekers from crossing the English Channel in small boats by threatening to deport them to Rwanda for processing.

Despite facing legal challenges and criticism from human rights groups, the previous government had pushed the policy through Parliament in April. The law declared Rwanda a safe third country, bypassing an earlier UK Supreme Court ruling that deemed the scheme unlawful on human rights grounds. Authorities had begun detaining asylum seekers in May under the policy.

Starmer's announcement signals a new approach to addressing the complex issue of irregular migration. The Labour government will likely face pressure to outline alternative strategies for managing asylum claims and addressing the concerns that led to the Rwanda plan's conception.

As the new administration settles in, observers will be watching closely to see how Starmer's government plans to tackle immigration challenges while adhering to international human rights standards and addressing public concerns about border control.
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