Russia: Verhofstadt erupts at EU as he calls for more sanctions
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Guy Verhofstadt took to Twitter to comment on new UK Government plans for asylum seekers who cross the English Channel to the UK in small boats to be flown for processing to Rwanda. He claimed it was a ploy from the UK to “deflect from those lockdown parties”, for which Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have been fined for attending one at Downing Street. The outspoken MEP also claimed Britain is a warning to the likes of France and other European countries “of where populist Government’s lead to”.
Belgium’s former Prime Minister raged on Twitter: “UK doesn’t do its part to (sic) for Ukrainians, now wants to send desperate refugees to Rwanda!
“Anything to deflect from those lockdown parties.
“Britain is a warning to France and other European countries of where populist Government’s lead to.”
But this triggered a furious response from Lord Frost, the UK’s former leader Brexit negotiator and Brexit minister.
He raged back on Twitter: “I wish people like @guyverhofstadt would concentrate on governing their own countries and the EU, which is their job, instead of constantly telling us how we should run ours.”
The multi-million pound asylum seeker plan from the UK Government is being headed up by Home Secretary Priti Patel, who flew to Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali on Thursday.
Anyone who has arrived in Britain illegally since January 1 could now be relocated to the East African country.
Immigration concerns were a major factor in the Brexit vote from 2016, and Mr Johnson has been under pressure to deliver on his promise to “take back control” of Britain’s borders.
He said in a speech in Kent, where thousands of migrants in small boats landed on Channel beaches last year: “We must ensure that the only route to asylum in the UK is a safe and legal one.
“Those who try to jump the queue or abuse our systems will find no automatic path to set them up in our country, but rather be swiftly and humanely removed to a safe third country or their country of origin..
“The deal we have done is uncapped and Rwanda will have the capacity to resettle tens of thousands of people in the years ahead.
Home Secretary Priti Patel also defended the plan to send asylum seekers arriving in the UK illegally to Rwanda, insisting there was “no simple solution” to tackling migrant crossings.
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She said during her trip to Kagali: “The criteria in terms of people who will be coming to Rwanda will be based on inadmissibility to the asylum system. So those coming in illegally to the country.”
“The costs right now (of the asylum system) are going to go up and up and up because we can’t stop the boats today or tomorrow.
“The projections for the summer are incredibly high. Currently, we stand at a bill for taxpayers for over £1.5billion pounds a year and that’ll just go off if we do nothing.
“Our work with the Government of Rwanda, our work when it comes to removals and charter flights, are a drop in the ocean, compared to the long-term aggregated costs to UK taxpayers and it’s unfair on hard pressed taxpayers.
“I’m not ashamed to say that at all, I’m absolutely very vocal about standing up for hard pressed British taxpayers constantly, because it’s not just about the money costs.
“It’s about the wider strains and pressures.”
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