The blocked Rwanda deportation scheme is “already having an effect” in deterring people smugglers, according to Home Secretary James Cleverly.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Cleverly did not seem deterred by yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Court that the plan to send asylum seekers to the central African nation was unlawful.
He said: “The deterrent effect of Rwanda is already having an effect in the thinking of the people smugglers, because we know – we interview people when they get here – we know that the Rwanda scheme is talked about among the people smugglers and about the people who would put their lives and money in the hands of these people smugglers”.
Mr Cleverly reconfirmed the government plans to introduce a legally binding treaty with Rwanda which would address the issues raised by the Supreme Court – including the fact asylum seekers can be redeported from the country to places where they might not be safe.
Addressing some of the criticisms about the scheme, Mr Cleverly said he had “detected – basically – some very lazy attitudes” about Rwanda because it is an African country.
Asked whether the UK would leave the European Convention on Human Rights, the new home secretary said “we don’t think we’re going to need to” take the UK out of the international agreement.
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