Rwanda deportation scheme is an ‘extortionately expensive gimmick’ says Yvette Cooper

Rwanda deportation scheme is an ‘extortionately expensive gimmick’ says Yvette Cooper
Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 23/04/2024

- 10:28

LABOUR’S Shadow Home Secretary has branded the Government’s Rwanda deportation scheme as an expensive gimmick and said it would have been better to have spent the money on targeting smuggling gangs.

Yvette Cooper said on GB News: “The problem with the recent Rwanda scheme is that it's an extortionately expensive gimmick that is costing around half a billion pounds for a plan which is to send just around 300 asylum seekers to Rwanda.

“And that is less than 1% of people arriving in this country. There is no plan at all for the 99%.

“It ends up being around £2 million per asylum seeker. We should be putting that money frankly into our border security instead, into going after these criminal gangs who are making profits from effectively a trade in people.

“We should be smashing those criminal gang networks instead with that investment.”

Speaking to Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster, she said a Labour government would scrap the scheme.

Cooper said: “So, we won't do the Rwanda scheme. Instead, what we'll do is replace it with a new plan to boost border security and to fix the chaos that the Tories have left in the asylum system.

“That must include new cross border police, British police and investigators working right across Europe, not just along the French coast, but actually working right across Europe to go after the criminal gangs.

“We have to stop the boats reaching the French coast in the first place and actually tackle some of the roots of the problems and that's not happening at the moment.

“We would also have new security agreements and new counter-terrorist style powers to be able to go after those gangs.

“And we need a new fast track asylum system for safe countries with a proper new returns and enforcement unit because part of the problem at the moment is there's no enforcement of the existing rules.

“…we've had a drop of nearly 50% in the number of returns under the Conservatives. Well, that's just the system not working. We've got to reverse that.”

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