Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Monday, May 20, 2024

Dark skin Immigrant against dark skin immigration: Patel personally approved Rwanda plan launch after civil servant concerns

Dark skin Immigrant against dark skin immigration: Patel personally approved Rwanda plan launch after civil servant concerns

A civil servants union says the plan is "divisive" but officials will have to implement it or leave.

Priti Patel had to personally approve a scheme to send some asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda after her officials voiced concern over value for money.

The home secretary issued a rare "ministerial direction" to push through the plans, meaning she takes responsibility for it.

It is only the second time the Home Office has used the power in 30 years.

A union for top civil servants said the plan was "divisive" but officials would have to implement it or leave.

FDA general secretary Dave Penman told BBC News: "Civil servants know their job is to support the government of the day. They sign up for that knowing they might not like what the government does.

"On the more divisive policies, which this clearly is, they face a choice - implement or leave. That could mean elsewhere in the Home Office, another department, or the service."

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union, which also represents civil servants, said: "For the government to attempt to claim this is anything other than utterly inhumane is sheer hypocrisy.

"We have already seen that they are prepared to risk lives by turning boats back in the channel - a policy which we have had to take them to court over. It is a heartless approach that displays total disregard for human life which everyone must oppose.''

The use of a ministerial direction highlights the unconventional nature of the government's refugee relocation plan.

As well as criticism of the policy on legal, moral and logistical grounds there is concern from officials at the Home Office about the cost.

The department couldn't say whether the scheme would be value for money, which is perhaps not surprising given ministers have openly admitted they don't know how much money will need to be spent.

Flying asylum seekers to another country is not a world first but it's a new and controversial approach for the UK.

The policy is testing the reach of the government's powers.

Home Office civil servants could not precisely quantify the benefits of the policy, and uncertainty about the costs meant Ms Patel had to take personal responsibility for it by issuing the ministerial direction.

A source close to the home secretary said "deterring illegal entry would create significant savings" and the fact that the savings could not be quantified precisely should not prevent action from being taken.

Ministerial directions have been used 46 times since the 2010 election, with two in the Home Office since 1990, according to the Institute for Government think tank.

The other time the formal order was used by the Home Office was in 2019 by former home secretary Sajid Javid, to bring in the Windrush Compensation Scheme before legislation was in place.

Under the £120m scheme, people deemed to have entered the UK unlawfully since 1 January could be flown to Rwanda, where they will be allowed to apply for the right to settle in the east African country.

The government said flights could begin within weeks, initially focusing on single men who crossed the Channel in small boats or lorries.

More than 6,000 people have crossed in small boats so far this year. The latest Home Office figures suggest last year, 28,526 people made the crossing, up from 8,466 in 2020.

More than 160 charities and campaign groups have urged ministers to scrap the policy - which has also drawn criticism from opposition parties and some Conservatives.

Sir David Normington, a former head civil servant in the Home Office, told BBC Newsnight the policy was inhumane and morally reprehensible, adding it was "probably unlawful and it may well be unworkable".

Labour's shadow justice minister Ellie Reeves called it "unethical and unworkable" and said it would fail to deter people from crossing the Channel.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said the scheme would be a "bureaucratic nightmare" and claimed it had been announced as part of a "cynical distraction" from the Partygate scandal surrounding No 10.

Ian Blackford, the SNP's Westminster leader, said it was "absolutely chilling".

Gillian Triggs, an assistant secretary-general at the UNHCR, said such a policy - which is similarly used in Australia - could be effective as a deterrent but there were "much more legally effective ways of achieving the same outcome".

Australia has used offshore detention centres since 2001, with thousands of asylum seekers being transferred out of the country since then.

It has been frequently criticised by the UN and rights groups over substandard conditions at its centres and its own projections show it will spend $811.8m (£460m) on offshore processing in 2021-22.

Last year, the UK government raised concerns at the UN about claims of "extrajudicial killings, deaths in custody, enforced disappearances and torture" in Rwanda, as well as restrictions to civil and political rights.

But a Home Office spokeswoman said Rwanda was a "safe and secure country with a track record of supporting asylum seekers" and that under the plans, the country would "process claims in accordance with the UN Refugee convention, national and international laws".

Speaking to ITV's Good Morning Britain on Friday justice and migration minister Tom Pursglove argued that while the short-term costs would be "pretty equivalent" to what the UK was paying currently to accommodate those claiming asylum, the new scheme would save British taxpayers money in the "longer term".

The scheme comes as part of broader efforts to cut the number of people entering the UK by crossing the Channel in small boats - with the Royal Navy taking operational command of patrolling the Channel from UK Border Force.


Related Articles

Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner