Why we shouldn't send migrants to Rwanda - according to Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski
Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski explains why he thinks we shouldn't be sending migrants to Rwanda.
At the last 1922 Committee meeting before the summer recess, I warned Suella Braverman that she would not get the Rwanda deal through our Courts.
Rwanda was the wrong destination to choose for us to send illegal migrants who have been smuggled across the English Channel by criminal gangs.
And we all have a vested interest in ensuring that this phenomenon that we are facing off our coast is urgently dealt with in a legal way which is sustainable.
During the course of our lifetime Rwanda has seen a bloodbath on an industrial scale. Today our friends in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country which will become increasingly important for us as we start to compete against the Chinese for commercial and political interests on the continent of Africa, allege that Rwanda is sponsoring the M23 terrorist organisation.
These terrorists are seeking to seize the mineral wealthy areas of North-East Congo, murdering and ransacking the border area between these two countries at will.
After the massacres that took place in Rwanda which we all remember with horror, the Conservative Parliamentary Party started a process of direct engagement with Rwanda.
For several years I have received an annual invitation from my fellow Parliamentarians to visit Rwanda to help teach English during summer recess or be part of the construction of a new school or hospital.
My fellow Conservative MPs spent a great deal of time in this country, and over the last two decades a very strong bond has been established between a large number of Conservative MPs and their Rwandan counterparts; none more so than Suella Braverman and Andrew Mitchell.
I understand and respect that process, but we cannot commit to a single resolution when Rwanda continues to be accused of funding terrorists.
We have seen in other parts of the world, indignation towards terrorism, so why are we turning a blind eye to these allegations?
Indeed, our closest political and commercial ally, the USA, have taken a lead at the UN in challenging the conduct of Rwanda towards her neighbours.
The other concern for me as a parliamentarian is that we have been given a ‘take it or leave it’ solution of one country without a proper analysis and evaluation before Parliament of any potential alternative.
We simply need to study and emulate our Australian partners in the way they have dealt with criminal gangs targeting their much larger coastline.
Australia signed a deal with Nauru, a paradise island in the Pacific with a population of 11,000, a country that has negligible resources and a tiny income.
Australia built facilities to house illegal migrants in Nauru and very quickly the criminal gangs ceased their operation.
Why, because there are no employment opportunities in Nauru and ultimately the main motivating factor of these illegal migrants is to seek employment.
Today Australia continues to pay Nauru a large amount of money to maintain empty centres which act as a deterrent and a clear sign to the criminal gangs that these centres can be reopened with a flick of a switch.
We now must do the same.
A British Overseas Territory over which we have total control must be selected either as an alternative to, or in addition to Rwanda as a centre to house these illegal migrants.
The Ascension Island in the MidAtlantic has been referred to by various parliamentarians but there are others for consideration.
This way we would have greater confidence not only that Foreign Courts could not impede our progress, but that regional instability, coups or regional conflict would not destroy overnight what has been a painstaking process to put together.
By Daniel Kawczynski.