Relocations to Rwanda

Home Department – in the House of Commons on 20th June 2022.

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Photo of Suzanne Webb Suzanne Webb Conservative, Stourbridge

What progress her Department has made in relocating individuals to Rwanda under the migration and economic development partnership.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

As the House will be aware, despite the detailed deliberations and judgments received in various domestic courts that heard the case, the European Court of Human Rights’ out-of-hours judge granted last-minute interim measures. The Government are seeking greater transparency from the ECHR on the reasons for its judgment. A full judicial review is expected to be heard in July. I want to be clear that this partnership is fully compliant with our international obligations.

Photo of Suzanne Webb Suzanne Webb Conservative, Stourbridge

Unbelievably, £5 million a day is being spent on housing asylum seekers in hotels. That is money that my constituents would rather see invested in the west midlands—for example, supporting the 1,500 additional police officers that the Department has helped to recruit across the region. Can my hon. Friend confirm that he will press ahead with our Rwanda partnership, to end our dependency on this expensive accommodation and crack down on the people smuggling gangs once and for all?

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

My hon. Friend absolutely hits the nail on the head in explaining why our new plan for immigration is so important, and we are determined to deliver on it. It is a comprehensive package of reform, including the Rwanda proposals, and we are going to get on and deliver on it. The Prime Minister has said that we will work through these issues, and that is precisely what we are now doing.

Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

On World Refugee Day, we pay tribute to all the fantastic refugees who have made utterly amazing contributions to our society and who were, thank goodness, able to have their claims heard here and rebuild their lives here instead of being dumped and offloaded thousands of miles away. The full hearing on whether the Home Secretary’s policy in Rwanda is lawful will take place in July, as the Minister said. Surely, if the Home Secretary has an iota of respect for the UNHCR and the importance of the refugee convention, she will confirm that she will wait for the outcome of that hearing instead of gambling on another reckless, degrading and expensive attempt at these removals.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

The hon. Gentleman will recognise that we do not comment on ongoing legal proceedings. We have had this debate many times, but what I would say is that every day that this new partnership is not in operation is a day that people continue to risk their lives in the channel. That is not acceptable or sustainable, which is why we are taking the steps we are.