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Boris Johnson‘s government was locked in a furious battle with the Archbishop of Canterbury today after he blasted plans to send economic migrants to Rwanda.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby used his Easter Sunday sermon to launch a scathing criticism of Home Secretary Priti Patel‘s deal to deter Channel migrant crossings by packing them off to Africa.
But it sparked a hardline response from Ms Patel and other ministers, who invited him to come up with with a better idea or stop carping from the sidelines.
On Sunday morning, the Archbishop told his Canterbury congregation that the UK has a duty as a ‘Christian country’ to not ‘sub-contract our responsibilities’ after anyone who arrived in Britain illegally since January 1 could be relocated to Rwanda under a new deal.
Ms Patel resurrected the row on Easter Monday, using an opinion piece in the Times to attack her critics. Without naming the head of the Church of England in a joint article with Rwandan foreign minister Vincent Biruta, she wrote: ‘We are taking bold and innovative steps and it’s surprising that those institutions that criticise the plans fail to offer their own solutions.’
Minister Greg Hands was even more direct on a round of interviews today. Asked about Welby’s intervention he told Sky News: ”I think what others, the critics of this plan, need to do is to show what their solution would be.’
The Government has said the £120million, five-year plan would help to break people-smuggling networks and stem the flow of migrants across the Channel, which has faced immediate and heavy criticism from politicians and charities.
It would see economic migrants who arrive in the Uk illegally handed a one-way ticket to Rwanda to start a new life there .
Mr Welby said the ‘serious’ ethical questions’ over sending asylum seekers abroad cannot ‘stand the judgment of god’.
Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured) has fired back at The Archbishop of Canterbury after he declared in his Easter speech this morning the UK must not ‘sub-contract our responsibilities’ in reference to the migrant crisis
The Archbishop of Canterbury (pictured today) blasted the government’s Rwanda plan for asylum seekers as the ‘opposite of the nature of God’
Migrants travelling to the UK on small boats will be put on jets and sent to Rwanda while their applications are processed. Pictured: A map detailing the plan proposed by the Prime Minister
Minister Greg Hands was even more direct on a round of interviews today. Asked about Welby’s intervention he told Sky News: ”I think what others, the critics of this plan, need to do is to show what their solution would be.’
Migrants wait to disembark at the Port of Dover after being rescued while crossing the English Channel, in Dover, Britain, April 15, 2022
On Sunday morning, Justin Welby told his Easter sermon congregation that the UK has a duty as a ‘Christian country’ to not ‘sub-contract our responsibilities’ after anyone who arrived in Britain illegally since January 1 could be relocated to Rwanda under a new deal
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s previous forays into politics
The Most Reverend Justin Welby used his Easter Sunday sermon to launch a scathing criticism of Home Secretary Priti Patel’s deal to deter Channel migrant crossings by packing them off to Africa.
His remarks sparked a hardline response from Ms Patel and other ministers, who invited him to come up with with a better idea or stop carping from the sidelines.
But it is not the first time Welby has used a sermon to wade into political debate in recent years:
Welby warns MPs over language
Welby clashed with Boris Johnson and other MPs when he called on the Commons to avoid using inflammatory language.
He said it was ‘extraordinarily dangerous for politicians to use careless comments’ in a polarised and volatile’ society after the Prime Minister was criticised for using words such as ‘surrender’ over Brexit.
Archbishop speaks on Covid rules
Welby warned MPs against Covid restrictions being imposed centrally and said he was ‘deeply concerned’ about the impact of the ‘rule of six’ on family life.
He said the Government had ‘determined the daily details of our lives’ during lockdown in a way ‘few of us have experienced’, as he argued instead for localism.
Welby leads colleagues against Brexit Internal Market Bill
Mr Johnson was again on a collision course with Welby over Brexit as he led five Anglican archbishops in warning that the proposed Internal Market Bill would ride roughshod over the Withdrawal Agreement signed with the EU in 2019– and potentially put peace in Northern Ireland at risk.
Calls for public inquiry into handling of the pandemic
The archbishop piled the pressure on Boris Johnson to launch a public inquiry into the handling of the Covid pandemic, saying the time for an independent probe ‘must be coming close’.
Blasts Government plans for NI rise
Welby blasted ministers’ plans to increase national insurance, saying it could pose a ‘serious problem’ for low-income workers.
He said that privileging wealthy pensioners over the poorest young people posed ‘a very serious moral question’.
And he slammed the policy as one that was not ‘people-centred’.
Speaks out against Assisted Dying Bill
Welby also spoke out against the Assisted Dying Bill – tabled by the independent peer Baroness Meacher to give patients of sound mind with six months or less left to live the right to die by taking life-ending medication.
Urges leaders to reach climate change agreement
And just a month earlier, at the COP26 Summit, he said leaders would be ‘cursed’ if they did not reach an agreement on climate change.
Called for support for refugees
He used his Christmas sermon last year to preach a message of support to volunteers helping refugees.
He said that the Christmas story of Joseph and Mary searching for shelter demonstrates the need to treat those ‘who risk everything to arrive on the beaches’ with compassion.
He was joined in his sentiments by Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell who called it ‘depressing and distressing’.
But Tory MPs have called the Archbishop of Canterbury’s stinging intervention over the government’s plan to send thousands of migrants with a one-way ticket to Rwanda ‘clumsy’.
Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, a committed Catholic, said the government is not ‘abandoning’ migrants but taking on a ‘very difficult responsibility’ with the ‘intention’ of doing good’ which he said is important within Christianity.
Other Tory MPs John Redwood, Mike Wood and Tom Hunt also blasted Mr Welby’s comments with Mr Hunt saying the Archbishop should be wary of ‘clumsily intervening’ into political issues.
Mr Welby also called for a ceasefire in the Russian war on Ukraine and spoke of his concern for families struggling during the cost-of-living crisis and for those bereaved by Covid-19.
In his 8.10am sermon, the Archbishop said: ‘The resurrection of Jesus is not a magic wand that makes the world perfect.
‘But the resurrection of Christ is the tectonic shift in the way the cosmos works. It is the conquest of death and the opening of eternal life – through Jesus, a gift offered to every human being who reaches out to him.
‘Not just for individuals but setting a benchmark for all of society because God is lord of every society and nation.’
He will continue: ‘Let this be a time for Russian ceasefire, withdrawal and a commitment to talks.
‘This is a time for resetting the ways of peace, not for what Bismarck called blood and iron. Let Christ prevail. Let the darkness of war be banished.
‘And this season is also why there are such serious ethical questions about sending asylum seekers overseas.
‘The details are for politics and politicians. The principle must stand the judgment of God, and it cannot. It cannot carry the weight of resurrection justice, of life conquering death.
‘It cannot carry the weight of the resurrection that was announced first to the least valued, for it privileges the rich and strong.
‘And it cannot carry the weight of our national responsibility as a country formed by Christian values, because sub-contracting out our responsibilities, even to a country that seeks to do well like Rwanda, is the opposite of the nature of God who himself took responsibility for our failures on the cross.’
He also said the love of god and hope triumphs over ‘nightmares’ and ‘global power’.
Echoing Mr Welby over his thoughts on the migrant scheme, the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell said at York Minster ‘we can do better than’ the Rwanda scheme.
Mr Cottrell said: ‘It is so depressing and distressing this week to find that asylum seekers fleeing war, famine and oppression from deeply, deeply troubled parts of the world will not be treated with the dignity and compassion that is the right of every human being, and instead of being dealt with quickly and efficiently here on our soil will be shipped to Rwanda.
‘We can do better than this. We can do better than this because of what we see in Jesus Christ, the risen Christ, with a vision for our humanity where barriers are broken down, not new obstacles put in the path.
‘After all, there is in law no such thing as an illegal asylum seeker. It is the people who exploit them that we need to crack down on, not our sisters and brothers in their need. We don’t need to build more barriers and cower in the darkness of the shadows they create.’
In his Easter sermon at Canterbury Cathedral, Justin Welby said the UK has a ‘national responsibility’ as a ‘Christian country’ to not ‘sub-contract our responsibilities’
Migrants wait to disembark at the Port of Dover after being rescued while crossing the English Channel, in Dover, Britain, April 17, 2022
Jacob Rees-Mogg, speaking on Radio 4’s The World This Weekend programme, said he disagrees with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s interpretation of the Government’s new immigration policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda
Echoing Mr Welby over his thoughts on the migrant scheme, the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell (pictured) said at York Minster ‘we can do better than’ the Rwanda scheme
The Member of Parliament for Ipswich Tom Hunt said Mr Welby’s comments were ‘wrong headed’ and he should be wary of ‘clumsily intervening’ into political issues
John Redwood, the MP for Wokingham, said could the Archbishop ‘forgive and reconcile’ instead of ‘sharpening political divisions’
Jacob Rees-Mogg, speaking on Radio 4’s The World This Weekend programme, said he disagrees with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s interpretation of the Government’s new immigration policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
He said: ‘I think he misunderstands what the policy is trying to achieve, and that it isn’t an abandonment of responsibility, it is in fact a taking on of a very difficult responsibility.
‘The problem that is being dealt with is that people are risking their lives in the hands of people traffickers, to get into this country illegally.
‘Now, it’s not the illegal bit of it, it is the encouragement of people traffickers that needs to be stopped.’
He said ‘90% of people coming are young men who by coming via people traffickers are jumping the queue for others’.
The Brexit opportunities minister also suggested the Government’s immigration plan creates an ‘opportunity for Rwanda’.
He said: ‘What is being done is providing an opportunity for Rwanda because it will provide Rwanda, a country that needs support and has gone through terrible troubles… and the Rwandan story is almost an Easter story of redemption, isn’t it?
‘Of a country that suffered the most appalling and horrific genocide and is now recovering and therefore the UK supporting it must be a good thing.
‘It helps people come through legitimate routes and I think the aim of the policy – within Christianity intention is always very important – and the intention of the Government is to do good.
‘It is to help those in genuine need of asylum and to make it harder for crime to prosper, and that I think, is fundamentally important.’
The MP for Ipswich Tom Hunt took to Twitter to blast Mr Welby, saying: ‘The leaders of the Church of England should be wary about clumsily intervening into complex political issues at the best of times.’ Pictured: So what is the Archbishop’s proposal on how to stop the lucrative and illegal trade by people traffickers? Why does he want to live with law breaking and dangerous voyages?
And Mr Redwood also wrote: ‘So what is the Archbishop’s proposal on how to stop the lucrative and illegal trade by people traffickers?
Mr Reese-Mogg had previously stated he ‘took his whip from the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church rather than the [Tory party’s] Whip’s Office’.
The MP for Ipswich Tom Hunt took to Twitter to blast Mr Welby, saying: ‘The leaders of the Church of England should be wary about clumsily intervening into complex political issues at the best of times.
‘To do so on Easter Sunday feels very wrong. Archbishop of York views particularly wrong headed. Claims he’s in tune with majority of the public.’
John Redwood, the MP for Wokingham, called on the Archbishop of Canterbury to ‘forgive and reconcile’ instead of ‘sharpening political divisions’.
He said in a Tweet: ‘I thought the Easter message was love conquers all. We should forgive and reconcile. Could the Archbishop help do that instead of sharpening political divisions?
And Mr Redwood also wrote: ‘So what is the Archbishop’s proposal on how to stop the lucrative and illegal trade by people traffickers? Why does he want to live with law breaking and dangerous voyages?’
Mike Wood MP also told GB News: ‘They were unwise comments… This will help to reduce the tragic losses at sea that we’ve had.’
It comes as an exchange of letters published by the Home Office on Saturday night showed the department’s Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft warned Home Secretary Priti Patel, pictured in Rwanda on Thusday, that although the policy was ‘regular, proper and feasible’, there was ‘uncertainty surrounding the value for money of the proposal’
It comes as an exchange of letters published by the Home Office on Saturday night showed the department’s Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft warned Home Secretary Priti Patel that although the policy was ‘regular, proper and feasible’, there was ‘uncertainty surrounding the value for money of the proposal’.
But issuing a rare ministerial direction compelling the plans to go ahead despite the concern, Ms Patel said that ‘without action, costs will continue to rise, lives will continue to be lost’.
The Home Office insisted the UK has a ‘proud history’ of supporting those in need and that Rwanda is a ‘fundamentally safe and secure country with a track record of supporting asylum seekers’.
The policy has enjoyed some support from Conservative MPs, who say the issue of small boats crossing the Channel is high on the priority list for constituents.
Ms Patel said she expects other countries to follow the UK’s example, suggesting Denmark could be among those to reproduce the Government’s ‘blueprint’, while the Home Office insisted its approach is not in breach of refugee agreements.
Boris Johnson’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda has today been slammed as an ‘egregious breach of international law’ and ‘really unacceptable’ by the United Nation’s refugee agency. Pictured: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the command room at the ‘Maritime rescue coordination centre’ in Dover, Britain, April 14, 2022
Speaking about the cost-of-living crisis and the pandemic, the Archbishop Mr Welby also said: ‘In the UK we might be waking up to lighter mornings and warmer days.
‘But families across the country are waking up to cold homes and empty stomachs as we face the greatest cost-of-living crisis – we have known in our lifetimes.
‘And because of this, they wake up with fear.
‘Further afield people are waking up to horrors they never imagined possible.
‘Last month president Zelensky gave a speech in which he said ‘the end of the world has arrived’.
‘Ukrainians have woken up to the end of the world as they knew it.
‘Now they are awakened by the noises of war and the sickening reality of terror. They wake up to mortal fear.’
Reflecting, on Mary waking up when Jesus was crucified, he said she awoke ‘grim’ with ‘anger’ at disciples for running away and her ‘misery’ at the future.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby performs the Washing of The Feet ceremony during the Maundy Thursday service at the Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, in Kent,
‘Be strong and have courage in your hearts’: Boris Johnson addresses Ukrainians in his Easter message as he highlights triumph of good over evil and life over death
By ELMIRA TANATAROVA FOR MAILONLINE
Boris Johnson addressed Ukrainians in his Easter message today, remarking that ‘Christ’s message of hope the triumph of life over death and good over evil will resonate this year perhaps more than any other’.
The Prime Minister, who is now banned from entering Russia following the Kremlin’s sanctions on a dozen other British government members and politicians, told Christians around the world to ‘be strong and have courage in your heart’.
He added: ‘Easter tells us that there is light beyond the darkness, that beyond the suffering lies redemption.’
Moscow has meanwhile accused Britain, with Johnson making a surprise visit to Ukraine last week, of ‘deliberately aggravating the situation surrounding Ukraine, pumping the Kyiv regime with lethal weapons and coordinating similar efforts on the behalf of NATO’ and threatened to expand its sanctions list ‘soon’.
The prime minister also tweeted out an Easter message in Ukrainian today, following a post yesterday in which he vowed to send more aid to Volodymyr Zelensky.
It said: ‘I updated my friend @ZelenskyyUa this afternoon on further military aid we will provide to Ukraine in the coming days.
‘The UK will stop at nothing to ensure Ukrainians have the resources they need to defend their country from the ongoing Russian onslaught.’
Keir Starmer’s message also touched on the conflict and themes of overcoming adversity.
The Labour leader said, in his address to ‘Christians around the world’: ‘I know you draw inspiration from the life of Jesus and the Easter story which is a message of overcoming adversity and of hope. Of light overcoming darkness.
‘And at this pivotal time, when Europe is at war and people are facing greater poverty at home, hope is more important than ever.
‘Thank you and Happy Easter.’
Yesterday Pope Francis called for ‘gestures of peace in these days marked by the horror of war’ in an Easter vigil homily in St Peter’s Basilica attended by the mayor of the occupied Ukrainian city of Melitopol.
Ivan Fedorov was abducted and held for five days by Russian troops after they occupied Melitopol, a strategic southern city.
Francis noted that while ‘many writers have evoked the beauty of starlit nights…nights of war, however, are riven by streams of light that portend death’.
He did not refer directly to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but he has called for an Easter truce in order to reach a negotiated peace.
Francis also addressed Mr Fedorov and Ukrainian legislators Maria Mezentseva, Olena Khomenko and Rusem Umerov, who sat all together in the front row.
He said: ‘In this darkness of war, in the cruelty, we are all praying for you and with you this night. We are praying for all the suffering.
‘We can only give you our company, our prayer.’
Francis added that ‘the biggest thing you can receive: Christ is risen’. He spoke the last three words in Ukrainian.
The messages of hope come as Zelensky last night warned that Russia is willing to use nuclear weapons to bring a catastrophic end to its invasion of Ukraine.
He urged the world to ‘prepare’ for the worst by stocking up on anti-radiation medicine and building air raid shelters.
The comedian-turned-war time leader made the doomsday warning during an interview with national media, before sharing the clip via his Telegram channel.
He made a similar announcement on Friday, when he said it could not be ruled out that Vladimir Putin would use tactical nukes, as his war against Ukraine continues to stall.
On Saturday Russia resumed missile and rocket attacks on Kyiv, western Ukraine and beyond in a stark reminder that the whole country remains under threat.
Today Ukraine and Russia failed to agree about humanitarian convoys for the evacuation of civilians from war-affected areas, Ukraine’s deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said.
‘We have not been able to agree…about ceasefires on evacuation routes. That is why, unfortunately, we are not opening humanitarian corridors today,’ she said on her Telegram account.
She added that the Ukrainian authorities have asked for humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians and wounded Ukrainian troops from the besieged port of Mariupol.
He added: ‘Such a sense of helplessness will have been common this morning.
‘Many will be awakened in refugee camps separated from loved ones on the front line, grieving for those missing, raped, abused or killed wondering how to cope.
‘For many in this country, the news from Ukraine is terrible but the rising cost of power and fuel, of basic foods, will be the first and overwhelming thought of the day.
‘For others it will be the continued deep sense of loss of someone from Covid, or during Covid, to whom they could not say a proper farewell.
‘The news might move on but grief does not.
‘Others will be struggling at work or feel a deep sense of injustice at the way they’ve been mistreated by friends, families or employers.’
Reflecting on what the resurrection means for us as individuals, the Archbishop will say: ‘In dying for us, [God] sees and knows the wounds that cause us so much pain.
‘He hears the cry of the mothers in Ukraine, he sees the fear of boys too young to become soldiers, [and] he knows the vulnerability of the orphans and refugees.
‘Closer to home, he sees the humiliation of the grandparent visiting the food bank for the first time, the desperate choice of parents in poverty and the grief and weariness of the pandemic.’
On Saturday, a peer suggested that the Government’s plan may breach the Geneva conventions, a peer has suggested.
Former child refugee and Labour peer Alf Dubs said ministers would face opposition in the Lords over the plan unveiled by Home Secretary Priti Patel and Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week.
In an interview with The Guardian, Lord Dubs said the Government was attempting to ‘ride roughshod’ over international agreements.
He said: ‘I think it’s a way of getting rid of people the Government doesn’t want, dumping them in a distant African country, and they’ll have no chance of getting out of there again.
‘I think it’s a breach of the 1951 Geneva conventions on refugees. You can’t just shunt them around like unwanted people.’
It comes as it was reported that Ms Patel took the rare step of issuing a ministerial direction to overrule concerns of civil servants about whether the concept will deliver value for money.
As part of the plan designed to curb migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats, those who are deemed to have entered Britain by unlawful means since January 1 may be sent to Rwanda where they will be permitted to apply for asylum in the African country.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the claimed use of the ministerial direction by the Home Secretary was only the second deployment of the power within the Home Office in the past 30 years.
The Home Office declined to comment on the matter when approached by the PA news agency.
Speaking to Times Radio on Saturday, shadow prisons minister Ellie Reeves said: ‘The UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) has come out really, really strongly condemning the Government’s proposals, as have many organisations, and it seems the Government’s own civil servants have expressed huge misgivings about the plans, which seem to be completely misguided.’
The Labour politician said: ‘The Government is going to be paying £120 million upfront before any asylum seekers will be sent to Rwanda.
‘Asylum seekers are saying it won’t deter them from crossing the Channel.
‘We are in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis so it doesn’t seem the right way to be spending money on an unethical and unworkable scheme that won’t deter people from coming over.’
She later added: ‘The whole system needs looking at again, so rather than making sweeping statements – these announcements that are completely unworkable and incredibly expensive – what the Government actually needs to do is get to grips with the system and put in place a system that actually works, increase prosecutions and clamp down on criminal gangs.’
But Ms Patel said Denmark could be among those to reproduce the UK Government’s ‘blueprint’.
‘There is no question now that the model we have put forward, I’m convinced is world class and a world first, and it will be used as a blueprint going forward, there’s no doubt about that,’ Ms Patel said.
‘I would not be surprised if other countries start coming to us direct on the back of this as well.’
The Home Secretary said Copenhagen was in talks with Rwanda as well, adding the Council of Europe ‘have also basically said they are interested in working with us’.
The Home Office denied its approach was in breach of refugee agreements.
But Lord Dubs, who came to the UK from then Czechoslovakia on one of the Kindertransport trains in 1939, told The Guardian there would be legal challenges and opposition by peers.
‘If (Ms Patel) says she’ll get rid of the lefty lawyers’ claims, well, I think she may have another thing coming. My understanding is that they’re going to have real difficulties in getting this through anyway,’ he said.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (left) carries a wooden cross during the Walk of Witness at St Mary’s Church, Sellindge, Kent, as he carries out his Holy Week engagements
On Friday, the United Nations also criticised the proposal as an ‘egregious breach of international law’. Gillian Triggs, a UNHCR assistant secretary-general, said the agency ‘strongly condemns outsourcing the primary responsibility to consider the refugee status.’
Put to her that Australia had effectively deployed a similar tactic to cut migration numbers, Ms Triggs said: ‘My point is, just as the Australian policy is an egregious breach of international law and refugee law and human rights law, so too is this proposal by the United Kingdom Government.
‘It is very unusual, very few states have tried this, and the purpose is primarily deterrent – and it can be effective, I don’t think we’re denying that.
‘But what we’re saying at the UN refugee agency is that there are much more legally effective ways of achieving the same outcome.’
She said attempting to ‘shift responsibility’ for asylum seekers arriving in Britain was ‘really unacceptable’.
A view of facilities at Hope House, a hostel in Nyabugogo, the Gasabo district of the capital city Kigali, in Rwanda – where migrants shipped from Britain will initially be taken
Ms Triggs pointed out that Israel had attempted to send Eritrean and Sudanese refugees to Rwanda, but that they ‘simply left the country and started the process all over again’.
‘In other words, it is not actually a long-term deterrent,’ she added.
In response to the UNHCR, the Home Office insisted to the MailOnline that ‘Rwanda is a fundamentally safe and secure country with a track record of supporting asylum seekers.’ It noted that the UNHCR has previously sad the country is safe for refugees.
‘Under this agreement, Rwanda will process claims in accordance with the UN Refugee Convention, national and international human rights laws, and will ensure their protection from inhuman and degrading treatment or being returned to the place they originally fled,’ the Home Office’s statement said.
‘There is nothing in the UN Refugee Convention which prevents removal to a safe country,’ it added.
More migrants arrive in UK on Easter Sunday despite risk they face being deported to Rwanda as Priti Patel slams ‘synthetic outrage’ at plan
- Ms Patel announced plans to deport failed asylum seekers to Rwands this week
- But a boat with around 20 migrants aboard was brought into Dover, Kent, today
- Men, women and young children were brought ashore wearing life jackets
- It comes a day after a further 252 migrants attempting to make the journey
- Home Secretary slammed ‘synthetic hysteria’ amid criticism of the new plans
By Jamie Philips
More migrants have arrived in the UK today, despite the risk of being deported to Rwanda – as Priti Patel slams ‘synthetic outrage’ at the plans.
The Government announced this week it plans to provide failed asylum seekers, including those crossing the Channel in small boats, with a one-way ticket to the African country, where they will have the right to apply to live permanently.
But a boat with around 20 migrants on board was brought ashore into Dover, Kent, on Easter Sunday after being intercepted by Border Force officers.
Men, women and young children were all wearing lifejackets as they were brought into the port this morning to be processed.
Windy conditions in the Channel are expected to prevent large numbers attempting the treacherous crossing today.
It comes a day after the Royal Navy and Border Force intercepted a further 252 migrants attempting to make the treacherous journey.
Despite choppy conditions in the 21-mile wide Dover Straits, seven flimsy dinghies made the dangerous voyage and were rescued in British waters.
As of Saturday, the latest figures now mean 6,263 migrants have already been detained so far this year in 193 small boats.
Men, women and children were brought ashore in Dover, Kent, by Border Force officials on Easter Sunday
Three men are escorted off a boat on Sunday. Around 20 are understood to have been intercepted in the Channel
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel on Easter Sunday
Latest figures now mean 6,263 migrants have already been detained so far this year in 193 small boats
Young children were among the migrants intercepted as they tried to make the Channel crossing today
The migrants were pictured in life jackets and wearing face masks as they were escorted off the boat by Border Force officers
A woman and young child are helped off a boat after attempting to cross the Channel on Sunday
How will the new Rwanda migrant scheme work?
Cross-channel arrivals assessed and anyone deemed an economic migrant rather than a refugee is sent to Rwanda
- Initial agreement worth £120million over five years
- Failed immigrants urged to start new life in Africa
- Initially based at hostel in Kigali
- Hope House is currently being used as budget accommodation for tourists
- Privately owned, the East African nation’s government is understood to be in negotiations to lease the property
- Memorandum of understanding (MOU) says Government will screen asylum seekers ‘without delay’ after arrival in the UK
- All requests will require approval from Rwanda before relocation
- Nation can refuse to take people with criminal records
- People who cross the Channel in small boats will undergo initial checks at the Western Jet Foil facility in Dover
- Further checks at a processing site in Manston, Kent. Where their claim is deemed inadmissible, they may be removed to a ‘third safe country’.
- Royal Navy to lead Channel policing role, helping Border Force from today
- PM attacked ‘a formidable army of politically motivated lawyers’ who have thwarted previous action
- PM: ‘Our compassion may be infinite but our capacity to help people is not. We can’t ask the British taxpayer to write a blank cheque to cover the costs of anyone who might want to come and live here.’
In 2021 that figure was not reached until July 10, while 1,713 people have been arrived this month alone.
Home Secretary Priti Patel yesterday slammed the ‘synthetic outrage’ over the Rwanda plans.
She also accused political opponents of treating exploited migrants with contempt and slammed ‘shameful’ human rights lawyers for profiting from traffickers sending groups to the UK in flimsy dinghies, The Sun reports.
Ms Patel said: ‘All I’ve heard the last couple of days is a typical hysterical reaction from the Left, particularly through their social media echo chamber.
‘All they have to offer is synthetic outrage. Labour doesn’t have a plan. They don’t care about Britain’s interests or UK taxpayers who foot the bill.
‘They are showing complete contempt for democracy and the wishes of the British people who have been crying out for years for action to fix our broken asylum system and tackle illegal migration.’
A Government source told the Mail on Sunday that after striking a dramatic deal, the Home Secretary wants to spread the word internationally and let ‘people know the rules have changed and if you arrive illegally to the UK, you can be deported to Rwanda’.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also warned that ‘anyone entering the UK illegally, as well as those who have arrived illegally since 1 January, may now be relocated to Rwanda’.
A £100,000 information campaign will use social media to reach people in ‘source countries’ in their own languages.
Jacob Rees-Mogg also suggested today that migrants crossing the Channel in small boats are ‘supporting organised crime’.
The Cabinet minister, speaking on Radio 4’s The World This Weekend programme, said he disagrees with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s interpretation of the Government’s new immigration policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
In his Easter sermon, Justin Welby earlier said ‘sub-contracting out our responsibilities, even to a country that seeks to do well, like Rwanda, is the opposite of the nature of God’.
Reacting to the sermon, Mr Rees-Mogg said: ‘I think he misunderstands what the policy is trying to achieve, and that it isn’t an abandonment of responsibility, it is in fact a taking on of a very difficult responsibility.
‘The problem that is being dealt with is that people are risking their lives in the hands of people traffickers, to get into this country illegally. Now, it’s not the illegal bit of it, it is the encouragement of people traffickers that needs to be stopped.’
He added that ’90 per cent of people coming are young men who by coming via people traffickers are jumping the queue for others’.
Mr Rees-Mogg continued: ‘They are in doing so not only risking their lives but supporting organised crime. What we need to do is focus on legal routes into this country of which there are quite a number.’
The new deal – expected to be the subject of legal challenges – was presented to Cabinet Ministers on Wednesday by Ms Patel and the Prime Minister.
The Rwandan government will receive £120 million in investment from the UK with the cost of housing each migrant for three months estimated at £20,000 to £30,000.
Ms Patel issued a ministerial direction, only the second in the department for 30 years, to force through the policy after objections from Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft.
A man is escorted at a port in Dover after being intercepted attempting to illegally cross the Channel
Senior Home Office civil servants have expressed dismay at the cost. One said: ‘It will be astronomical. The legal bill alone will be huge.’
Last night, the Home Office published an exchange of letters between Ms Patel and Mr Rycroft in which he called for a ministerial direction as he could not justify the policy’s value for money.
The package also includes a new immigration centre for 500 men at a former RAF base in Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire.
Speaking after Saturday’s crossings, Minister for Justice and Tackling Illegal Migration Tom Pursglove MP said: ‘The rise in dangerous Channel crossings is unacceptable.
‘Not only are they an overt abuse of our immigration laws but they also impact on the UK taxpayer, risk lives and our ability to help refugees come to the UK via safe and legal routes. Rightly, the British public has had enough.
‘Through our Nationality and Borders Bill, we’re cracking down on people smugglers and fixing the broken system by making it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally and introducing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for those who facilitate illegal entry into our country.’
Source: Daily Mail