Safety of Rwanda Bill
Safety of Rwanda Bill

This week the Government passed their disgraceful and flawed Rwanda Bill.  I therefore voted against the Bill at every stage, and I maintain my view that it is obscene, impractical and eye-wateringly expensive.

It is a complete disgrace that the Tories are attempting to rewrite reality, by using the Bill to treat Rwanda as a safe country, despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary.

I was extremely disappointed to see it pass in the House of Commons, despite the best efforts of the Labour Party and the House of Lords. Labour has already committed to repealing the Rwanda Bill if we are successful in the upcoming General Election.

This Bill is yet another symptom of a Government in utter chaos. The scheme will cost the taxpayer over half a billion pounds for just 300 people. During a cost of living crisis, Sunak has chosen to spend an eyewatering £2 million per individual deported to Rwanda. Once again the Tories are gambling our nation’s finances on a cynical attempt to claw onto what little authority they have left.

To make matters worse their plan is costing the British taxpayer £400m in cheques to Rwanda even if no asylum seekers are sent there. On top of that the Government has pledged to write another cheque for £120m once 300 people have been sent. And a further £10-20m for every 100 people sent.

Sunak and the Home Office have completely lost control of spending, with a broken asylum system, the Tories have burst the Home Office budget by over £5.4 billion – including a £4 billion overspend on asylum hotels and accommodation, to be met by the taxpayer.

An astronomical cost for a policy which is not only utterly unethical, but it is simply unworkable.
This proposed plan will make it harder not easier to get fast and fair asylum decisions. It will cover less than 1% of asylum seekers arriving in the UK. They still have absolutely no plan for the 99%.

Hardly a convincing deterrent, despite what Sunak might try and claim. In fact the Home Office Permanent Secretary has said on the record there is no evidence it will work as an effective deterrent.

This Bill is merely a gimmick and not the politics of a responsible Government. The Tories latest plan to pay failed asylum seekers to go voluntarily to Rwanda instead shows that even they know their main plan won’t work and they are just desperate to send a few symbolic flights before a General Election.

Labour has a serious plan to smash the criminal smuggler gangs at source with a new cross border police unit and security partnership with Europol based on intelligence sharing – paid for by redirecting funds away from the failing Rwanda scheme.

Labour also has a detailed plan to clear the backlog, and end inappropriate asylum hotel use, which could save the taxpayer up to £4 billion. This includes a new 1000-strong returns unit to remove those who have no right to be in the UK.

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