Sunak: rise in asylum seekers in Ireland proves Rwanda plan ‘having impact’

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An increase in asylum seekers heading to Ireland proves that the Conservative party’s Rwanda plan is working, Rishi Sunak has claimed.

In an interview with Sky News’ Trevor Phillips that will air on Sunday morning, the prime minister said the “deterrent is already having an impact because people are worried about coming here”.

The Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Act was signed into law on Thursday after a tumultuous journey through parliament.

On Friday Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Micheál Martin, said that the threat of being deported to Rwanda had led to people crossing the border from Northern Ireland.

Sunak said that Martin’s comments showed that “illegal migration is a global challenge, which is why you’re seeing multiple countries talk about doing third-country partnerships, looking at novel ways to solve this problem, and I believe will follow where the UK has led”.

He added: “But what it also shows, I think, is that the deterrent is, according to your comment, already having an impact.”

It was reported on Saturday that, in exchange for the deal, Rwanda wants Britain to allow the prosecution of five men in the UK who are suspected of genocide in the African country.

Johnston Busingye, Rwanda’s high commissioner, has urged Britain to extradite or facilitate trial proceedings over their alleged involvement in the 1994 genocide in which more than 800,000 Tutsis were killed, according to the Telegraph.

The suspects are under investigation by Scotland Yard’s war crimes unit, having been referred after a high court ruling blocked Rwanda’s extradition request.


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