The Rwanda refugee deal is a distraction from the real issues in the asylum system

The government has invested huge political capital into its refugee deal with Rwanda. Equally immense resources of time and energy will also no doubt be ploughed into getting a few unfortunate refugees on a plane there at some point. This is a monumental opportunity cost: there are really serious but fixable issues with the United Kingdom’s asylum system and all the Rwanda deal is likely to do is make them worse.

What is the Rwanda deal?

As background, the Rwanda deal involves the United Kingdom sending an unspecified number of newly-arrived asylum seekers to Rwanda. The theory is that once in Rwanda, their asylum claims will be assessed there and Rwanda will either (a) grant them status as refugees or (b) remove them back to their country of origin. They will never get a right to return to the UK: their removal from our country is intended to be permanent.

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