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In an article in The Times today, Enver Solomon (CEO of the Refugee Council) and Professor Alexander Betts write in response to the UK government’s asylum agreement with Rwanda and the Nationality and Borders Bill 2022. The Rwanda scheme is intended to deter people from crossing the English Channel using human smuggling networks in order to seek asylum in the UK. “But”, Solomon and Betts write, “as the Home Office’s top official has acknowledged, this deterrent effect is extremely uncertain. The policy is therefore likely to be ineffective on its own terms, and if implemented, will be harmful.”

Solomon and Betts call for innovative solutions and “politically viable alternatives”. They argue that “Global Britain should take the lead with all rich countries” in recognising and dealing with refugee protection as “a shared global responsibility requiring multilateral cooperation”, citing four main ways this for doing this. Further, they state, “rather than abolish Britain’s longstanding tradition of granting people a fair hearing on UK soil, as the Bill and Rwanda deal aspire to do, we must work with European nations to respond in accordance with international treaties.”

Read the article here