UK will save money by sending asylum seekers to Rwanda

UK will save money by sending asylum seekers to Rwanda

Britain will save money in the long term by sending some asylum seekers to Rwanda after the reported cost of about 30,000 a person was described as eye-watering. Home Office minister Tom Pursglove said it would crush the business model of people smugglers.

He said that those transferred would be able to embark on fully prosperous lives in Rwanda, and that the short-term costs would be roughly the same as what the UK is now paying to accommodate those who claim asylum.

Another Tory MP, Andrew Mitchell, said it would be cheaper to put up those arriving in Britain at Ritz for a year.

The new scheme would prove incredibly expensive for British taxpayers as well as being impractical and immoral, according to the former international development secretary.

He said that a cost of up to 30,000 per person, covering accommodation before and after the journey, as well as a one-way plane ticket to Rwanda, was eye-watering. ITV News said that the Home Office permanent secretary had sought a ministerial direction because of concerns about value for money, so the home secretary, Priti Patel, had to override civil servants qualms.

Pursglove said 120 m had been allocated for the initial cost of the scheme.

It should help us save money by getting this under control over the long term. We are spending 5 m per day accommodating individuals who are crossing in hotels. That is not acceptable and we need to get that under control. Boris Johnson, the prime minister, wants to see the first migrants flown out in roughly six weeks after the local elections, when the Conservatives are bracing for a difficult set of results.

Pursglove wouldn't give an exact timeframe for the first asylum seeker to be forcibly removed to Rwanda, but he told Sky News that the policy would be implemented quickly.

He said that those who had arrived in the UK since January 1st, 2022 via illegal means could still be eligible to be transferred as part of this arrangement with Rwanda.

Denmark hopes that other countries will follow Britain's deal with Rwanda.

I don't know the details of the agreement between Rwanda and the UK but it seems to be a good step forward, said Mattias Tesfaye, Denmark's minister for immigration and integration.

I hope more European countries will support the vision of tackling irregular migration through committed partnerships with countries outside Europe in the near future. The wealthy Scandinavian country has become notorious for its hardline migration policies, such as last year s revoked the resident permits of Syrian refugees, arguing that parts of the country were safe to return to.

In June 2021, the Danish parliament passed a law allowing the external processing of asylum claims, a move that was questioned by EU authorities at the time. Copenhagen has been in talks with Kigali, but has not signed an agreement on the transfer of asylum seekers.

There are a number of EU countries that have looked at similar offshore processing plans, but they have never got off the ground. In 2018, the EU proposed regional disembarkation platforms in North Africa to process asylum claims of people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, but failed to find countries willing to host them.