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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Home Secretary Unable to Answer Questions on Refugees Safety in Rwanda

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SNP MP Drew Hendry has slammed the Home Secretary’s failure to answer basic questions relating to her proposals to send refugees to Rwanda as part of its Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda. 

The controversial scheme, which is currently subject to court action, would see the detention and relocation of potentially vulnerable refugees arriving in the UK on small boats to Rwanda.

In a written question to Priti Patel, Mr Hendry has asked the Home Secretary about her department’s assessment of the risks for refugees sent to the region under the scheme.

Instead of a response, the Home Office advised Mr Hendry they could not answer the question at this time and put the response on hold. 

Last month the European Court of Human Rights (EHCR) forced a temporary pause on the Government’s shocking plans to send refugees to Rwanda.

The pause was put in place due to concerns about the potential risks for refugees. 

This decision came after the British High Court concluded the decision to treat Rwanda as a safe third country gave rise to “serious triable issues,” and it wasn’t clear that refugees would be able to return to the UK once in Rwanda. 

Amnesty International’s assessment of the policy was that it “shows how far removed from humanity and reality” the UK Government is.

Commenting, Mr Hendry said, 

“The Home Secretary plans to send vulnerable people across the world to an unstable region, yet neither she nor her department can answer basic questions about what risk assessments her department has carried out.

“Time and time again we see these hostile right-wing policies played out by the Tories.

“The Home Secretary knows these people aren’t safe, and that’s why she is refusing to answer my questions on the risk assessments carried out by her department. 

“She even failed to appear in front of the Home Affairs Committee to answer questions on this latest shocking hostile environment proposal.

“My mailbox has been inundated with emails from constituents who are, rightly, outraged by the UK Government’s plans to place people in need of our compassion in even more danger.

“These are real people – and this is the UK Government and the Home Secretary at their worst. 

“Priti Patel knows full well there are significant concerns about the safety of refugees she plans to ship off to Rwanda.

“Refugees face potential forced detention, forced military conscription, and kidnappings.

“With this policy, she is placing these vulnerable refugees outside official legal protections. 

“This Tory Government continues to avoid scrutiny at every turn and thinks they are above answering questions from elected parliamentarians.

“We shouldn’t be surprised, given that most on the Government benches believe they are above the law. 

“Westminster is a broken institution and swapping out one tory Prime Minister for another isn’t going to change that.”

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