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Migration row continues as UK ‘offers’ Ireland to participate in Rwanda plan

Amid growing diplomatic tensions between Dublin and London, the UK government will “offer” Ireland the opportunity to join its deeply controversial plan to deport migrants from Rwanda, according to British press reports.

The Telegraph, which often publishes articles supporting the Conservative government, said Downing Street was “open to exploring Ireland’s involvement in the scheme after Irish ministers blamed the deterrent effect of deportation to Rwanda for the rise in applicants.” asylum seekers arriving in Dublin from Great Britain.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee recently claimed that up to 80 per cent of asylum seekers were crossing the border from Northern Ireland, which UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said was a sign that her plan for Rwanda is working.

Although McEntee “stands behind” the figure, Tánaiste and Foreign Minister Micheál Martin say it is not “statistical”.

Taoiseach Simon Harris has flagged an “operational agreement” providing for the reciprocal return of asylum seekers between the UK and Ireland, but Downing Street has said it contains no legal obligations to accept them.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “not interested” in a return deal if the European Union did not allow the UK to return asylum seekers who had crossed the Channel from France.

Ireland

Officials warned McEntee two years ago that the UK R…

Harris, who noted that elections were looming in the United Kingdom, highlighted the “importance of countries respecting agreements.”

The Telegraph quoted a Downing Street source as saying: “If the Irish government believes the Rwanda plan is already having effect, we can explore the possibility of Ireland joining the Rwanda plan. “Many countries are now looking towards a third country, which is why Sir Keir Starmer’s amnesty for 115,000 illegal immigrants a year is so short-sighted.”

The UK local elections, which Harris mentioned, took place on Thursday, and early signs suggest poor results for Sunak’s Conservative Party.

The government is likely to take a dim view of the British government’s “offer”, and there is no chance Ireland will consider getting involved in the Rwanda plan.