The Rachel Maclean MP column:
THERE has been a lot of commentary over the past few weeks following the announcement the UK will be processing asylum claims in Rwanda.
I have received a number of emails, for and against, but for the vast majority of constituents who haven’t contacted me, I want to set out why I believe this is absolutely the right policy.
Governments of all colours have vowed to tackle illegal migration and to break the business model of criminal gangs endangering lives by putting people on unseaworthy boats across the English Channel.
Previous governments have failed, but the one I serve in is determined to take the necessary, and yes, controversial action to deter illegal entry into the UK.
Our deal with Rwanda is a world-first. The Migration and Economic Development Partnership will see migrants who make dangerous or illegal journeys, such as by small boat or hidden in lorries, have their asylum claim processed in Rwanda.
Those whose claims are accepted will then be supported to build a new and prosperous life in one of the fastest-growing economies, recognised globally for its record on welcoming and integrating migrants.
In recent weeks my political opponents have sought to scaremonger, and of course Labour oppose this policy without presenting an alternative.
They fail to recognise our new policy has similarities with the deal between the EU and Turkey, and the Biden administration policy known as ‘Remain in Mexico’. They also fail to acknowledge Denmark wants to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Too many people have already died making these perilous crossings. If this new policy brings an end to these deadly crossings then I know I have done the right thing in supporting this world-first policy.
Wanting to control our borders, tackle illegal migration and crackdown on criminal gangs is not backwards looking – it is something constituents have consistently voted for, and I am delivering on.
Rachel Maclean MP