Monday, September 26, 2022
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Boris Johnson vows to crack down on 'vile people smugglers' with new plan for migrants


Priti Patel will sign a deal with the African country on Thursday, after failing to reach an agreement for a similar deal in Albania and Ghana.

In a speech set to be made in Kent on Thursday, Mr Johnson will claim to be “taking back control of illegal immigration” and stopping “vile people smugglers” from turning the sea into a “watery graveyard”.

It is hoped the deal will reduce the record number of people crossing the Channel, as more than 5,000 have already done so this year.

The PM is expected to say in his speech: “I accept that these people – whether 600 or one thousand – are in search of a better life, the opportunities that the United Kingdom provides and the hope of a fresh start.

“But it is these dreams, these hopes, that have been exploited.

“These vile people smugglers are abusing the vulnerable and turning the Channel into a watery graveyard with men, women and children drowning in unseaworthy boats and suffocating in refrigerated lorries.”

Speaking on Newsnight on Wednesday, the former head of the UK Border Force Tony Smith shared his reaction to the proposal.

He said: “We have to find a way of stopping the boats because the numbers are going up, more and more people are going to drown.

“This is human smuggling at its worst, and I’m afraid if we don’t stop the boats then more will continue to come and more people will lose their lives.

“We need to somehow break that supply chain.”

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Under the terms of the arrangement the armed forces will be granted the power to track and intercept the boats, a task previously carried out by the UK Border Force.

There are also plans to hold asylum seekers in “closed” reception centres in the UK, with the first one likely to open at the former RAF station in Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire, reported The Times.

However, the move has been met with backlash from many over its potential costs, as Australia’s offshore processing system costs $1 billion (£762.3 million) a year for only 300 people.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “This Rwanda processing proposal is a desperate shameful announcement by Boris Johnson in an attempt to distract from his own law breaking.

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“It is an unworkable, unethical and extortionate policy that would cost the UK taxpayer billions of pounds during a cost of living crisis.”

Refugee Council chief executive Enver Solomon claimed the plan would cost £1.4 billion per year and demanded Priti Patel “immediately rethink” the solution.

He added: “We are appalled by the Government’s cruel and nasty decision to send those seeking sanctuary in our country to Rwanda.

“Every day we are hearing the stories of desperate Ukrainian families fleeing war.

“This is the brutal reality faced by refugees escaping conflicts all over the world, who this Government now wants to treat as no more than human cargo to be shipped elsewhere.”



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