More than 160 charities and campaign groups have called on the Government to scrap “shamefully cruel” plans to send asylum seekers who cross the English Channel in small boats to Rwanda.
Boris Johnson has insisted his scheme to detain and fly migrants more than 4,000 miles to East Africa at the expense of the taxpayer is not “draconian and lacking in compassion”.
But Bond, the UK network of NGOs, and more than 160 other British organisations have condemned the plan, claiming it is “fundamentally out of step with widespread public support for refugees in the UK”.
The costs of the programme remain uncertain, but The Times reported that each migrant sent to Rwanda is expected to set British taxpayers back between £20,000 and £30,000.
The newspaper said this would cover accommodation both before and after the journey, as well as the cost of a seat on the flight itself.
It comes as the Home Secretary has struck a £120-million economic deal with Rwanda, and cash for each removal is expected to follow.
The vast majority of the people coming across the Channel are economic migrants, they are not asylum seekers, the government has claimed numerous times, including during the PM’s speech yesterday as he announced the Rwandan plan.
Full Fact looked into this claim, they concluded: “There is no evidence for this. Research carried out by the Refugee Council shows the majority of nationals from the countries most represented in small boat arrivals are granted asylum. The Home Office doesn’t publish statistics covering asylum claims following small boat arrivals specifically.”
In response Peter Stefanovic has created another video, drilling down into the government’s claims and comprehensively debunks the notion that those in the Channel are economic migrants and not asylum seekers.
He tweeted: “To justify its “cruel & inhumane”policy to send migrants to Rwanda Boris Johnson’s Government is saying the vast majority of people coming across the Channel are economic migrants & not asylum seekers. THATS A LIE.”