UK Government's Rwanda asylum-seeker plan reeks of racial prejudice – Angus Robertson MSP

“The opposite of the nature of God.” That was the verdict of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, on the UK Government’s plans to deal with asylum seekers.

Monday, 18th April 2022, 4:45 pm
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is far from the only senior clergy member to have condemned the UK Government's plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda (Picture: Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is far from the only senior clergy member to have condemned the UK Government's plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda (Picture: Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

The ridiculous proposal would see those who Boris Johnson’s government deems to have come to the UK illegally transported to Rwanda in East Africa, where they will be allowed to begin the process of applying for settled status.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has personally signed off the policy at a cost to you and me of £120 million.

You would think that such a policy as absurd as this must have clear and substantial benefits. But that is not the case.

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As a matter of fact, the top civil servant at the Home Office had warned Priti Patel that there was not “sufficient evidence” that the policy would have "a deterrent effect significant enough to make the policy value for money”.

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Justin Welby is not the only member of the clergy to have publicly condemned this inhumane policy. The Archbishop of York also branded it “truly appalling and distressing”.

The Archbishop noted that those who have fled war and persecution and hoped to cross the Channel on boats – of whom 44 have died making the attempt in the past year – are in just as much need as the people of Ukraine facing Putin’s wrath.

Yet the approach to refugees and asylum seekers on the European continent lies in stark contrast to the proposed treatment of those typically from elsewhere, and it reeks of racial prejudice.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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