Sunak Defends Rwanda Deportation Scheme Amid Rising Costs

Rishi Sunak

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has reaffirmed his support for the controversial Rwanda deportation plan, labeling it a “worthwhile investment” despite emerging concerns over its escalating financial burden. A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has unveiled that the initiative’s costs could exceed half a billion pounds, raising eyebrows across political and public spheres.

The scheme, initially proposed under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s tenure in 2022, aims to deter unauthorized migrant arrivals by relocating them to Rwanda. However, it has faced significant legal hurdles, with the UK Supreme Court deeming the policy unlawful, yet Sunak persists, recently signing a treaty with Rwanda and advancing legislation to solidify its implementation.

During a visit to Scotland, Sunak articulated his stance, emphasizing the need for a deterrent against illegal crossings and asserting the fiscal strain of housing migrants in hotels on taxpayers. The Prime Minister’s commitment comes amid scrutiny over the deal’s transparency and cost-effectiveness, particularly with no migrants yet deported under the policy.

The financial implications, as outlined by the NAO, include a £370 million agreement with the Rwandan government, supplemented by additional costs per migrant, totaling an estimated £540 million for the initial 300 individuals. This revelation has sparked criticism from the opposition, with Labour branding it a “national scandal” due to the disproportionate expenditure.

Despite these challenges, Sunak remains steadfast, citing the scheme’s potential to alleviate the current asylum system’s pressures. However, questions linger regarding its viability and the ethical considerations of outsourcing asylum responsibilities.