21 April 2022, The Tablet

Harsh, cruel and probably illegal

The Rwanda scheme


A ferocious head-wind has blown up to resist the government’s startlingly novel solution to the problem posed by asylum seekers who cross the English Channel in small boats. The Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster have added to the storm with their strong condemnation in the name of Christian morality. Their simple message is that forcibly deporting asylum seekers to East Africa, or anywhere else, is no way to treat fellow human beings.

Elsewhere, criticism has been focused on the scheme’s impracticability, Rwanda’s appalling human rights record, the likely cost to the British taxpayer, the high chance of it turning into a fiasco, and the lack of evidence that it will have the intended effect. The purported aim is to disrupt the highly profitable “business model” of the people smugglers who organise the Channel crossings. The real motive is probably closer to naked racism. An asylum seeker is the “other”, the uninvited stranger, who does not belong.

Get Instant Access

Continue Reading

Register for free to read this article in full

Subscribe for unlimited access

From just £30 quarterly

  Complete access to all Tablet website content including all premium content.
  The full weekly edition in print and digital including our 179 years archive.
  PDF version to view on iPad, iPhone or computer.

Already a subscriber? Login