Starmer confirms Rwanda deportation plan ‘abandoned’

customer Keir Starmer On his first day as prime minister, he confirmed that the Rwandan deportation plan was “dead and buried.”

The Labour leader said he would end the “plot” established by the previous Conservative government of deporting migrants who enter the UK illegally to Rwanda.

Labour campaigned on a promise to abolish the system, which has already cost around £310 million, and promised to replace it with a more effective approach to tackling illegal immigration.

“The Rwanda plan was doomed before it even began,” Sir Keir told reporters at his first press conference as prime minister.

He argued that the scheme “has never been a deterrent” because it deports “less than 1%” of those who arrive on small boats.

The financial impact and total cost to taxpayers of abolishing the program is still unclear. Ending the program also casts doubt on the fate of 52,000 migrants who are subject to deportation.

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The scheme was a key battleground in the final days of Rishi Sunak’s government.

The former Prime Minister made implementing the policy a key priority during his term as Prime Minister, arguing that it would reduce the number of people crossing the English Channel in small boats.

Although the Rwanda plan was announced two years ago by then Prime Minister Boris Johnson, it faced numerous legal challenges and the plane never took off.

The plan also faced a tough passage through Parliament, sparking numerous Conservative rebellions.

As of June 26, 13,195 people have entered the UK by crossing the English Channel on small boats in 2024, more than the figures for the same period in the past four years.

Around 120,000 people have travelled to the UK via this route since 2018.

He added: “If you look at the numbers that have occurred in the first six and a half months of this year, they are record numbers. This is the problem that we are inheriting.”

“It has had quite the opposite effect. We are not going to continue with this tactic which does not act as a deterrent.”

The new government has made illegal immigration one of its main priorities.

Labour’s manifesto promised to curb small boat traffic across the Channel by hiring investigators and using counter-terrorism powers to “disrupt” criminal smuggling rings.

Labour has yet to reveal full details of its plans.

Earlier this year Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame said British taxpayers Possible refund If the deal falls through.

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