Johnson admits Ukrainian refugees could be sent to Rwanda, but ‘unlikely’

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Oriss Johnson has admitted that Ukrainian refugees could be forcibly relocated to Rwanda if they arrive in the UK by unauthorized means.

But the prime minister insisted that it was “very unlikely” that refugees fleeing the Russian invasion would be caught up in his widely criticized policy.

Labor said it was “shameful” that Mr Johnson thought it was right to send those fleeing Putin’s bombs to Rwanda.

Mr Johnson is attending a meeting of Commonwealth leaders in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, where he will hold talks with the Prince of Wales on Friday after Charles criticized the policy as “terrible”. Was targeted.

Rwanda’s human rights record is high amid concerns over a £ 120 million economic deal, but no one-way flight has yet taken place for migrants.

Only situations in which people will be sent to Rwanda if they come to the UK illegally, and thus harm the safe and legal routes we have.

The first was scheduled to take off last week, but due to legal challenges, the groundwork was laid.

Asked by reporters accompanying him to Rwanda, Mr Johnson said: “There will only be situations where people will be sent to Rwanda if they come to the UK illegally, and thus the safe and legal routes we have. It hurts.

“I think we are giving 130,000 visas to Ukrainians, they have at least two very good routes to come to this country.

But if you come here illegally, you are harming all those who come here legally. And that’s crazy.

“So, in principle, I’m afraid the answer is, I think, yes, in theory it could happen, but I think it’s very unlikely.”

Shadow Home Secretary Yuvet Cooper said: “The British people have opened their homes to those fleeing this terrible war and made it clear that we must do everything we can to help Ukraine.

“Therefore, it is a shame that the Prime Minister thinks that it is right to send fleeing Ukrainians who arrive thousands of miles away in Rwanda without proper documents.

“We have repeatedly warned that this policy is unworkable, immoral, exorbitantly expensive and threatens to make human trafficking worse. The prime minister must stop this now.

Despite the suspension of the scheme, it has come to light that the UK has already made payments to Kigali, who has started spending money to get asylum seekers.

The Rwandan government said it had begun spending cash to prepare for last week’s flight, which was canceled at the last minute.

Downing Street acknowledged that some payments had been made to Kagali but would not say how much or when it would be made under the “secret” agreement signed two months ago.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a lesson during a visit to the GS Kacyiru II school in Kigali, Rwanda (Dan Cutwood / PA) / PA wire

The payments were made despite the absence of one-way flights for immigrants arriving in the UK via unauthorized travel.

Asked if the payments had started, Rwandan government spokesman Yolande Makulo said: Had to improve – so it happened. “

Asked if any of this had been spent, he said: “Part of it because we needed to be prepared and we were ready to receive the first refugees on the 14th.”

The first flight was suspended following an interim injunction by the European Court of Human Rights, pending a decision in British courts on the legality of the scheme.

Mr Johnson’s spokesman said: “The funding agreement with Rwanda is confidential. It is safe to say that we have made some payments as part of this migration partnership.

“Obviously, they need a lot of work to get things done, to get things done.”

The ministers had expected about 130 people on board, but legal challenges reduced it to seven or fewer on takeoff.

A Strasbourg court then issued an interim injunction barring the removal of Iraqi asylum seekers pending a decision in British courts on the legality of the government’s policy.