The plan to send refugees to Rwanda is going to be one of those points that future historians will point to as the moment the UK Conservative Party completely lost its mind.
In some ways, the idea is brilliantly original. Why bother trying to make your way across the English channel if there is a chance you will end up rotting in the room in Rwanda? But the practicalities of it all mean it is likely never to happen.
The only winners so far seem to be the Rwandan government. From the Guardian:
Ministers have been accused of using “cloak and dagger” tactics after a leading civil servant revealed in a letter that they had paid Rwanda a further £100m to send asylum seekers there.
Sir Matthew Rycroft, the Home Office’s top civil servant, told MPs the payment was made in April after £140m had already been sent. He added that a further payment of £50m was expected next year.
The revelations come after Rishi Sunak told an emergency Downing Street press conference on Thursday that he would “finish the job” of his deportation plan despite criticism from his MPs.
The chair of the public accounts committee, Meg Hillier, who received the letter, told Radio 4’s Today programme: “This is all something cloak and dagger behind the scenes.” The committee had been pushing to discover what the real cost of the scheme would be.
Sunak has published an emergency bill to give ministers the power to ignore judgments that come from Strasbourg while stopping short of leaving the European convention on human rights. The bill prompted the resignation of the immigration minister Robert Jenrick.
The good news is that Rwanda scores 51 out of 100 on the corruption index, so hopefully, they will put the money to good use and not just invest it in new Mercedes and Mayfair apartments.
I help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not that interested in daily politics, preferring to write about big ideas in society. When not stuck in front of a screen, I am a parkrun Run Director.