The UK government has stated that British citizens will have to pay additional expenses due to the recently signed agreement with Rwanda regarding the deportation process for asylum seekers. The Home Secretary emphasized that the government’s decision was not driven by a desire for easy and immediate approval.
The UK will cover the expenses of British and Commonwealth judges presiding over a newly created appeals process, as well as the legal fees of individuals sent to the central African country under the new agreement.
On Tuesday, James Cleverly became the third UK home secretary in the past 19 months to finalize a deal with Rwanda. The government was compelled to create the agreement following a ruling by the supreme court last month that deemed their previous plans illegal.
Up to this point, government officials have given £140m to the government of Rwanda, but have chosen not to reveal the amount that has been spent on additional expenses in both Rwanda and the UK, specifically in a number of lengthy legal battles.
When questioned about potential funding for the new treaty, Cleverly stated that the financial arrangement involved in any international agreement would reflect the expenses that may be placed on Rwanda due to the modifications made to their legal and institutional systems through this partnership.
The Rwandans did not request any money for this agreement. They also did not receive any money for this agreement. Addressing migration is crucial and it comes with a cost, but we believe it is the ethical choice to make.
He stated, “The collaboration between the UK and Rwanda on this matter is driven by its significance, not its simplicity or the potential for gaining quick and inexpensive popularity.”
The new agreement proposed by the government directly addresses the findings of the highest court and offers a long-term resolution.
The highest court halted the policy on November 15th due to worries that refugees may be incorrectly returned to their home countries where they could be subjected to mistreatment.
The recently implemented agreement entails that judges from Britain and the Commonwealth will oversee a newly formed appeals system within the high court of Rwanda, specifically for extraordinary situations.
Individuals sent to Rwanda will receive complimentary legal aid, paid for by the taxpayer, during their entire journey. The Rwandan authorities have declared that individuals will only be returned to the UK, rather than any other country, potentially resulting in asylum seekers who engage in criminal behavior in Rwanda being expelled to the UK.
The UK will be providing funds for experts who will be sent to Rwanda to aid in handling asylum decisions.
The Home Office asserts that the treaty improves the duties of a monitoring committee in Rwanda.
The foreign minister of Rwanda, Vincent Biruta, expressed that the country has faced unjust treatment from courts, international organizations, and the media. He also hinted that internal politics in the UK may have influenced this treatment.
The most recent deal between Rwanda and the UK was announced as the Home Office reported that there are 28,318 individuals seeking asylum who are currently waiting to be deported to Rwanda.
Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, expressed concern over the negative impact of these proposed plans on the refugees they assist. He stated that these individuals are being forced into risky and hazardous situations and are even avoiding necessary services due to the fear of being sent to Rwanda. This puts them at a higher risk of being exploited or abused.
The agreement is likely to greatly harm the psychological well-being of asylum seekers, who are already struggling with stress, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide due to the trauma they have suffered.
The government needs to acknowledge that the Rwanda plan is not the best path moving forward.