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Starmer: I am not prepared to go ahead with plans to deport migrants to Rwanda

Announcing the new British Prime Minister Keir Starmer On Saturday, he said he was “not ready” to proceed with the previous Conservative government's major plan to deport migrants to Rwanda.

“The Rwanda plan was dead and buried before it began and I am not prepared to continue with tactics that do not constitute a deterrent,” Starmer said at his first press conference.

He is a former prime minister. Rishi Sunak Labour has pressed ahead with its controversial deportation plan, vowing to abandon plans to deport migrants to Rwanda, despite opposition from human rights groups and court rulings.

Starmer earlier said Sunak's policies had no deterrent effect and were of no value, promising to tackle the problem “at the source” by cracking down on smuggling gangs behind border crossings.

He explained that one of the central elements of the policy was the creation of a new “elite” command for border security, which would include immigration and law enforcement experts in addition to the domestic intelligence agency MI5.

It is worth noting that the UK Home Office said last month that an estimated 12,313 people crossed the border into the UK this year, an increase of 18% on the same period last year. The number of arrivals in 2023 was 29,437, a 36% decrease from the record 45,774 in 2022.

Since Brexit in 2020, immigration has become an increasingly important political issue in the UK, with successive governments making solemn promises to “take back control of the UK's borders”.


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