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UK PM Admits No Rwanda Deportation Flights Before July 4 Election

BRITISH Prime Minister Rishi Sunak acknowledged on Thursday that no flights deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda will occur before the general election on July 4. However, he assured voters that the flights will proceed if he is re-elected.

‘If you think stopping the boats is important, and you think like I do that you need a deterrent to do that … then I’m the only one that’s going to deliver that,’ Sunak told the BBC. Speaking to London’s LBC radio station, he reiterated, ‘The preparation work has already gone on.’

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Labour’s Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, criticised Sunak’s comments, claiming the deportation plan had ‘been a con from start to finish.’ Cooper highlighted the significant expenditure, stating, ‘With all the hundreds of millions they have spent, it would be extraordinary if ‘symbolic flights’ didn’t take off in early July, as the Tories planned.’

According to official data, the Rwanda plan has already cost the UK £240 million, with total costs expected to reach at least £370 million over five years.

The controversial Rwanda plan will be a major issue in the upcoming election campaign, pitting the ruling Conservative Party against the main opposition Labour Party. The campaign, lasting six weeks until July 4, will likely focus heavily on migration policy.

The legislation enabling the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda became law in late April. It aims to address the influx of irregular migrants, with Sunak having made tackling small boat crossings across the English Channel a top priority. In 2022, over 45,000 migrants arrived in the UK via this route.

Sunak’s commitment to the Rwanda flights underscores his stance on deterring illegal immigration, a key aspect of his government’s agenda. As the election approaches, voters will weigh the effectiveness and ethics of such policies in addressing the UK’s immigration challenges.

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