UK govt considered Rwanda-style asylum deal with Iraq

According to the UK Foreign Office, Britain advises against all travel to Iraq except to northern Iraq…reports Asian Lite News

The British government at one point considered using Iraq to process asylum seekers in a Rwanda-style scheme, according to a media report on Monday.

The documents, seen by Sky News, revealed that the UK government considered the Middle Eastern country as an option to process asylum seekers as it does with the East African country Rwanda.

According to the UK Foreign Office, Britain advises against all travel to Iraq except to northern Iraq.

Despite the travel warning, according to the document, negotiations between the UK and Iraq were advanced and described as “good recent progress with Iraq.”

Documents also showed that both countries have a returns agreement, Sky News reported.

The report revealed returns agreements are also in the works for Eritrea and Ethiopia, according to documents about work undertaken by the British Home Office and Foreign Office that relates to countries with the highest number of nationals arriving in the UK by small boats.

On Tuesday, the UK dispatched its first failed asylum seeker to Rwanda under a pioneering voluntary scheme.

A government source said: “The Home Office is spending millions every day accommodating migrants in hotels – that’s not right or fair. We’re taking action to put an end to this costly and dangerous cycle. Doing nothing is not a free option – we must act if we want to stop the boats and save lives.”

After becoming law in late April, the long-debated legislation seeking to send asylum seekers to Rwanda paves the way for the deportation of thousands of asylum seekers in a matter of weeks.

In January last year, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that tackling small boat crossings by irregular migrants across the English Channel was among five priorities of his government as more than 45,000 migrants arrived in the UK that way in 2022.

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