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Rwanda Victory for the United Kingdom

Updated: May 23

In the United Kingdom, Rwanda is best known for two things, neither of which are particularly good. In 1994, a Genocide took place in Rwanda, where 800,000 members of the Tutsi ethnic group (75% of their population) were murdered in just 100 days. But now Rwanda is famous here because of the British Government's plan to use it as an illegal immigrant's paradise. 

Now, as with all things related to law and the European Union, the plan is needlessly complicated and bureaucratic. My first task, then, is to make sure you can actually understand it.

Essentially, the UK wants to deport illegal immigrants and asylum seekers to Rwanda, those who are washing up on British beaches in rubber dinghies. Of course, being as courteous as we are in the UK, we will pay Rwanda for their troubles. In fact, we've already paid £240 million with an additional £50 million to be sent and haven't even flown anyone over there yet.

While this might all sound dandy, the plan has already come a cropper in the Supreme Court because Justices deemed Rwanda an unsafe country. Since the European Convention on Human Rights still binds the UK, we can't send people there for concerns over their safety. It's a bit like sending someone to Moscow and telling them it's perfectly safe, knowing full well the FSB will poison them on arrival.

This is why, on Tuesday night, Rishi Sunak brought a revised plan to Parliament. The Rwanda Safety Bill says that Rwanda is, in fact, a safe country and deportees won't come to any harm there. If the situation changes – for example, if another civil war breaks out – this treaty would then be nullified.

To me, this all seems perfectly sensible. I was delighted to see Parliament passed the Rwanda bill. However, this has been an extremely controversial plan, so my support for it will also be controversial. But let me explain.

If you're wondering why we desperately need to take action on illegal immigration, see how you feel about this: in the UK, we spend £8 million every day to accommodate asylum seekers and illegal immigrants in hotels. This means that in one year, we shell out £2.9 billion of our hard-earned money to keep illegal immigrants in a Premier Inn. That is wrong on so many levels.

It is estimated that chemotherapy treatment for cancer costs the NHS £1.4 billion a year. So instead of using our tax money to fund, say, life-saving treatment for British citizens, we give double the money to asylum seekers and illegal immigrants for room and board. 

The tragedy doesn't end there. 271,000 British people, including over 120,000 British children, were recorded as homeless in January 2023 – figures which have likely increased since. Where are their free hotel rooms? If we can pay for someone who doesn't even live in this country to have free bed and breakfast, why can't we pay for homeless British citizens to have the same support?

None of it makes any sense. And that's why – like it or not – the Rwanda plan is the most sensible thing on the table right now.

I think it is hard to disagree with me, when I say Britain has an immigration problem. But it is impossible for you to disagree with my feeling that no illegal immigrant should be put ahead of homeless and ill British citizens. 

Perhaps then, the only issue people have is with Rwanda.

Yes, the focus on Rwanda does seem like we're dumping the problem on a poorer country, but we're not. We have treaties with countries all over the world for all sorts of different things that most don't even know about. For example, I bet you didn't know the UK is one of thirteen international signatories to the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels. Treaties happen all the time. The Rwanda bill is only high-profile because immigration has become such a hot topic in the UK – probably because it's such a big problem for us.

You could argue that we shouldn't be sending immigrants away at all if you think we have a duty to welcome them. But have you thought about it from a different angle? Most countries slam their door in the face of illegal immigrants, telling them to go back to where they came from. We aren't doing that. We're finding somewhere safe for them to go rather than sending them back to a war-torn or dangerous country.

In this way, then, the Rwanda plan is a win-win. We can stop spending billions on hotel rooms and start spending on our own British citizens. And even though they've come to the UK illegally, we can still find a safe home somewhere else for immigrants to stay.

So, I don't understand what the big issue is with the Rwanda bill. When you drill down into the facts, you realise that there isn't an issue there at all. I urge so many not to see everything the Conservative Party does as wicked – just because of their own allegiances – and actually consider the merits of the policy.

Would you like your hard-earned tax money to pay for people who have washed up here – illegally – to stay in a hotel? Or would you like it to pay for life-saving NHS treatments, repairing potholes and helping British citizens? Good, let's get on with Rwanda.

Image: UK Home Office

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