UK to pay staggering £370 MILLION to Rwanda in asylum deal... with extra £20,000 per migrant

UK to pay staggering £370 MILLION to Rwanda in asylum deal... with extra £20,000 per migrant

WATCH NOW: Cameron blasts the Lords for 'frustrating' Rwanda Bill

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 01/03/2024

- 09:55

Rishi Sunak is hoping to start deportation flights in the spring

The UK will pay at least £370million to Rwanda to relocate asylum seekers to the African nation, the National Audit Office has said.

Each person sent to Rwanda will also cost the taxpayer £150,000 over a five-year period.

Under the half-decade deal, the UK can send migrants who arrive in Britain illegally to the country.

The policy is intended to deter people from crossing the English Channel in small boats.

Migrants being brought ashore in Dover

Migrants being brought ashore in Dover


Rishi Sunak made stopping the boats one of his top priorities after replacing Liz Truss in Downing Street.

However, the policy has been stalled by a number of legal challenges and zero illegal immigrants have so far touched down in Rwanda.

The Government hopes it can start deportation flights by the spring.

The House of Commons approved the Safety of Rwanda Bill earlier this year but the House of Lords will continue to debate the legislation next week.

Rishi Sunak is committed to stopping the boats

Rishi Sunak remains committed to stopping the boats


The UK has already paid £220million into the Rwanda economic development fund since April 2022, with further annual payments of £50million scheduled for the next three years.

Britain could also face a one-off sum of £120million if more than 300 people are eventually sent to Rwanda.

There is a further potential payment of £20,000 per individual relocated.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, KentA group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, KentPA

The UK Government would also need to foot the bill for accommodation, food and education.

Such services are expected to cost up to £150,874 per person.

These payments would stop if the individual chooses to leave Rwanda, with the UK instead paying £10,000 per person to facilitate their departure.

An £11,000 per individual levy is expected to hit taxpayers' pockets for flights to Rwanda.

The National Audit Office, which operates as Whitehall's spending watchdog, did not come to a judgement on whether the scheme is value for money.

Yvette Cooper

Yvette Cooper has criticised Sunak's Government over the cost of the Rwanda policy


However, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper labelled its findings a "national scandal".

She said: "This report reveals the national scandal the Tories have been trying to hide.

"Its shocking analysis shows the costs of the failed Rwanda farce are even higher than previously thought."

The Home Office also claimed: "Doing nothing is not without significant costs."

A spokesperson added: "Unless we act, the cost of housing asylum seekers is set to reach £11billion per year by 2026.

"Illegal migration costs lives and perpetuates human trafficking, and it is therefore right that we fund solutions to break this unsustainable cycle."

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