Tories migrant scheme for Rwanda slammed as ‘brutish’ by Lanarkshire priest

Controversial UK Government plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda have been slammed by a Lanarkshire priest as “brutish”.

The Conservatives sparked a political row last week when they unveiled plans for refugees to be sent to the African country for processing, rather than remaining in Britain.

If successful, the migrants would then be allowed to stay in Rwanda.

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Tories claim the plan would help to crack down on migrants trying to cross the Channel in the hope of finding asylum in the UK, but opposition politicians and human rights groups have been critical, saying it would be unlikely to work in practice and querying the ethics of it.

The Archbishop of Canterbury used his Easter sermon to attack the proposals, resulting in a row with the Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Now Fr Paul Morton, of St Bride’s Church in Cambuslang, has stated his opposition to the scheme.

He told Lanarkshire Live: “I want to give my full support to what the Archbishop of Canterbury said in his Easter sermon.

Fr Morton
Father Paul Morton is the popular parish priest at St Bride’s Church

“It is not right to send asylum seekers or refugees away to Rwanda – what kind of solution is that?

“Often these people have come on frightening journeys of epic proportions. If people come to our borders they must be processed in a fair and just way rather than in a brutal manner.

“The Archbishop has been accused of not coming up with a better answer to the problem, but that doesn’t make the proposed solution any more correct or legitimate.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel signed the deal in Rwanda this week
Home Secretary Priti Patel signed the deal in Rwanda this week

In his Easter address Justin Welby said there were “serious ethical questions about sending asylum seekers overseas.”

He added that “sub-contracting out our responsibilities, even to a country that seeks to do well like Rwanda, is the opposite of the nature of God, who himself took responsibility for our failures.”

Ms Patel had to issue a ministerial direction for the plan, meaning she will take full responsibility for it, after her civil servants questioned whether the plan will actually provide value for money.

However, the home secretary has insisted that the plan is “bold”.

She stated: “We are taking bold and innovative steps and it’s surprising that those institutions that criticize the plans fail to offer their own solutions.

“Allowing this suffering to continue is no longer an option for any humanitarian nation.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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