Rwanda plan is 'not working' says ex Brexit MEP
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The Home Office has begun formally notifying migrants of their removal to Rwanda, with the first deportation flight expected to depart in two weeks. The Government described the move as the “final administrative step” in its partnership with the east African nation, whereby people who are deemed to have entered the UK illegally will be encouraged to rebuild their lives thousands of miles away. But the former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib has said migrants are not being deterred.
Speaking to TalkTV, Mr Habib said: “I think we’ve had about 5,000 since the Rwandan plan was announced in April and you’re bound to get more coming across in the warmer months.
“I think we’re going to be looking at another 40,000 by the end of the year.
“The thing that strike me is that if the aim of the Rwanda plan was to deter people coming across the Channel, it’s not actually working is it?
“Since they announced it we’ve had record numbers coming across again.
“This is something the UK simply can’t sustain.
“We’ve got to stop this movement of people, illegally, across the Channel.
“We just can’t go on like this.”
It comes as Home Secretary Priti Patel has said she is “absolutely determined” that the UK will send migrants to Rwanda despite the prospect of legal challenges being mounted by human rights groups.
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Responding to comments made on Monday by the chief executive of Freedom From Torture, Sonya Sceats, that the Rwanda plan is a “cash for humans scheme”, Ms Patel said that is “absolutely not right”.
“No, it’s absolutely not right”, she said.
“And the fact of the matter is, every government around the world has policies to remove individuals with no legal basis to remain in that country.
“And we’re speaking about people of different nationalities. And we’ve been doing this with other countries. We have removal schemes, where we can remove people to their country of origin.
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“But of course, I’m absolutely determined to make sure that we remove people.”
Despite the prospect of the removals being held up by court action from human rights groups, Ms Patel said that she was “resolute” to deliver the scheme.
“The fact of the matter is, as I have said from day one, there are many, many cases where individuals bring legal actions and legal claims to thwart the removal of individuals.
“This will also apply no doubt, and we expect this. And it will be a challenge and I’ve said that from the outset. And I am absolutely resolute to my determination to deliver for the British public.
She said that the scheme was “unprecedented” and “exactly what the British people want”.
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