UK to take in refugees from Rwanda as a result of Priti Patel’s migrant shake-up under asylum deal for most vulnerable families
- People who have been granted asylum status in Rwanda will be able to come to the UK under the scheme
- The mutual deal means the UK will resettle some of the most vulnerable refugees.
- They will have complex needs, including physical or mental health issues.
As it became known, the UK agreed to accept refugees from Rwanda as part of the landmark Priti Patel agreement.
Those who have fled war or persecution and have been granted asylum status in Rwanda will be able to come to the UK under a reciprocal scheme signed by the Home Secretary last week.
An important detail in the agreement, printed in fine print that may prompt critics to reassess the agreement, only surfaced after Ms. Patel returned from the East African country on Friday.
It states: “Participants will work to ensure that the United Kingdom resettles some of the most vulnerable refugees from Rwanda to the United Kingdom, recognizing the commitment of both participants to better international refugee protection.”
Those who have fled war or persecution and have been granted asylum status in Rwanda will be able to come to the UK under a reciprocal scheme signed by the Home Secretary.
A Home Office source said this would apply to “dozens, not hundreds” of people who have already been granted refugee status in Rwanda.
However, the agreement does not specify any restrictions. It is clear that the refugees who are brought to this country are most likely to be people with the most complex needs, such as physical or mental health problems.
Details set out in a “memorandum of understanding” between the UK and Rwanda show that victims of modern slavery and human trafficking could be sent to Rwanda under this scheme.
Once the migrant arrives in the UK and is selected for transfer to Rwanda, the Home Office will provide him with a travel document if he does not have a passport, the agreement adds in small print.
It is believed that this aspect may be vulnerable to litigation.
But a senior Home Office official said in a letter to Ms. Patel that Rwanda’s scheme was “entirely appropriate” given the scale of the crisis.
Matthew Rycroft, the department’s permanent secretary, said it was “okay, right and workable” to continue this policy.
The Strand, a seaside hotel on the Grand Parade in Eastbourne, hosts migrants and refugees who have crossed the English Channel.
The flagship Best Western The Midland in Derby is used to house some of those who have crossed the English Channel.
A government spokesman said: “Rwanda is leading the way in supporting the UN High Commissioner for Refugees … and as its partner, the UK will support this effort by resettling some of the most vulnerable refugees currently in Rwanda.”
Under an agreement last Thursday, asylum seekers who arrive in the UK on ‘irregular’ routes, such as across the English Channel in small boats, will be flown on Home Office charter flights to Rwanda.
The scheme will apply to anyone who arrived illegally from 1 January. Downing Street hopes to have the first repatriation flights by the end of next month.
Data released yesterday showed that 255 migrants arrived from France on Saturday. Overall, 6,266 migrants have arrived in the UK this year, a figure that was only reached in July last year.
Cabinet Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg told Radio 4 The World This Weekend yesterday that the plan would benefit the East African nation.
“What is being done now is an opportunity for Rwanda… a country that has been through terrible hardships. The history of Rwanda is almost an Easter story of redemption, isn’t it?
Earlier, Ms. Patel denounced the Left’s “artificial outrage” with the scheme. “All I’ve heard… is typical leftist hysteria,” she told The Sun.
Priti Patel and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta signed the “Partnership Agreement on Migration and Economic Development” in Kigali, Rwanda.