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UK’s new PM ends controversial Rwandan deportation plan

UK’s new PM ends controversial Rwandan deportation plan | Britain’s new Prime Minister Keir Starmer plans to end what he called the “gimmick” of deporting migrants coming into the UK unlawfully to Rwanda.

“The Rwanda scheme was dead and buried before it started,” Sir Keir stated during his first press conference as prime minister.

During his campaign, he had stated that the policy, which had already cost the UK £310 million, would be replaced with more efficient methods for combating illegal immigration. The new Prime Minister noted that the policy has “never been a deterrent” since it deports “less than 1%” of small boat arrivals.


The effect of abolishing the plan, plus its eventual cost to taxpayers, is unclear. The cessation of the program raises concerns about the fate of 52,000 migrants who have been designated for deportation.

According to the BBC’s report, as of June 26, 13,195 persons had arrived in the UK via small boat crossing in the Channel in 2024, which was more than the previous four years combined. In the last 7 years, almost 120,000 migrants have arrived in the UK using this method.

The plan which had been introduced two years ago by then-prime minister Boris Johnson, faced numerous legal challenges, up until the last days of the Rishi Sunak administration.

Back in June 2023, a comprehensive government analysis of a high-stakes commitment to address record numbers of people arriving in tiny boats, showed that the UK’s proposal to transport asylum seekers to Rwanda will cost £169,000 ($215,035) per person.

The cost of deporting each person to Rwanda, according to the government’s economic impact assessment, would include an average payment to Rwanda of 105,000 pounds for hosting each asylum seeker, 22,000 pounds for the flight and escorting, and 18,000 pounds for processing and legal costs.

Fast forward 5 months later and the UK Supreme Court decided that an asylum agreement with Rwanda was illegal, identifying the likelihood that refugees transported to Kigali may be repatriated to the countries from which they fled, which would in turn subject them to even more harsh treatment. (Source: Business Insider)

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