The measure would only apply to migrants from the country who arrive in Britain illegally, Boris Johnson has said.
Ukrainian refugees who arrive in Britain illegally could be deported to Rwanda for processing, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted.
Johnson was asked about the possibility of Ukrainian migrants being sent to the central African country during his visit to the Rwandan capital, Kigali, on Thursday.
“The only circumstances in which people will be sent to Rwanda would be if they were coming to the UK illegally, and thus undermining the safe and legal pathways we have,” he has answered.
The UK has already issued some 130,000 visas to Ukrainian nationals in connection with the conflict with Russia, and “they have at least two very good routes to come [the UK]”, noted the Prime Minister.
“But if you come here illegally, you undermine everyone who comes here legally. And it’s crazy. So I’m afraid the answer is, I guess, yes, in theory it could happen.
However, Johnson added that he was “very unlikely” that all Ukrainians will in fact be forced to make the 4,000 mile journey from the UK to Central Africa.
The remarks represent a break from the Prime Minister’s previous assertion last month, in which he said the deportation of migrants arriving from Ukraine was “It just won’t happen.”
The controversial scheme to deport illegal migrants to Rwanda for processing was announced by the British government in April and will cost a total of £120 million ($147.2 million).
Johnson insisted the strategy would undermine the business model of human traffickers, who illegally transport people to Britain.
However, the plan was heavily criticized by opposition and human rights groups, and the inaugural flight to Rwanda was canceled following a last-minute ruling by the European Court of Rights. rights (ECHR).
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper hit out at Johnson over his latest comments, saying “It is shameful that the Prime Minister thinks it is acceptable to send Ukrainians fleeing the war who arrive here without the right papers thousands of kilometers into Rwanda.”
“We have repeatedly warned that this policy is impractical, unethical, exorbitant and risks increasing human trafficking. The Prime Minister should drop this now,” insisted the Labor politician.
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