Last week saw the unfortunate Supreme Court decision that the Rwanda Deportation Plan cannot yet go ahead. This plan would have sent many of those arriving in the country illegally and claiming asylum to Rwanda in order to have their claims processed offshore. The plan was important to the government’s strategy to stop the boats as it made clear that if you arrived here illegally, you would not be able to stay.
I was extremely disappointed by this tone deaf decision by the Supreme Court and it flies in the face of what I know the people of Mansfield and Warsop want, which is an end to the crossings and illegal immigration. I was however pleased to see the Prime Minister come out and refuse to give in, recommitting to making the Rwanda Plan work and promising emergency legislation to make the it happen. This legislation is due in Parliament this week.
The idea that Rwanda is 'not safe' for migrants but is fine for us to encourage Brits to go there on holiday is nonsensical. Furthermore, the UN themselves send refugees to Rwanda. Other European countries like Denmark have put in place their own arrangements to enable them to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. If it’s safe for them, it’s safe for us.
Over the years I have had hundreds of people contact my office expressing their concerns about illegal immigration and time and time again on the doorstep, this is the number one issue that people want to see solved.
This is about fairness. Fundamentally, why should my constituents work hard, pay their taxes and do the right thing just for people who arrive illegally in a dinghy to get their accommodation, food and bills paid? Why should genuine asylum seekers in dangerous war-torn countries have their applications delayed by people who have come illegally from a safe country in France? It is completely wrong, and I have made this clear to the Prime Minister directly.
Fundamentally, we have to find a way to deliver these and other tough measures, whether that's by leaving the ECHR, further legal changes in Parliament, or whatever means necessary. If we can't implement UK law because it's overruled by international ones, then we're not an independent democratic country. The Prime Minister gets this, and on a visit to Nottinghamshire last week he said he would do whatever it takes to ensure that international laws and courts cannot block our UK decisions.
I am as tired as my constituents of seeing people day after day arrive on the south coast and rest assured that I am pushing government, including the Prime Minister when he was in Worksop on Friday, to make sure this is stopped. I will also be voting wherever I can in Parliament for tougher measures that deal with our illegal immigration problem and ensure that people with no right to be here are removed from our country.