Saturday, December 9

Germany wants the EU to adopt a Rwandan-style immigration system

Germany reportedly wants the EU to adopt a Rwanda-style immigration system with deportation of asylum seekers, similar to the scheme proposed by Britain.

Germany is playing a “leading role” in advocating an agreement with a non-EU state to filter out migrants who don’t have much of a chance of getting asylum, the newspaper Die Welt reported.

Rwanda and Niger are being considered partner countries and would be financially compensated for the deal, according to the report.

While Austria and Hungary want asylum seekers to be deported to an African partner country regardless of which country they come from, Germany reportedly wants to restrict this process to people who have spent time in the countries to which they would be exported. while your application is being considered.

Coalition lawmakers fear the deal is aimed at deterring refugees from coming to Europe.

This week, 24 MPs from the Social Democrats and Olaf Scholz's Greens signed a letter urging Berlin to defend immigrant rights during negotiations (File photo)

This week, 24 MPs from the Social Democrats and Olaf Scholz’s Greens signed a letter urging Berlin to defend immigrant rights during negotiations (File photo)

This week, 24 MPs from the Social Democrats and Olaf Scholz’s Greens signed a letter urging Berlin to defend immigrant rights during negotiations.

Scholz and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser are determined to push through an agreement, given the increasing number of refugee arrivals.

Faeser said: ‘If we fail today or in the next 14 days, it would be a bad sign leading countries to isolate themselves. I don’t want that, I want to keep the borders open.’

“For us in Germany, human rights standards are at the forefront, and I will fight hard for that today,” he added.

The Social Democrats, the largest party in the coalition with the Greens and Free Democrats, are prepared to throw their weight behind changes that would see migrants stopped at the EU’s external borders.

The number of asylum applications in Germany this year has already reached 130,000 and local governments say they have run out of space to house the new arrivals.

In May, Scholz announced that he would break with the liberal policies he inherited from Angela Merkel and would seek to reduce the number through stricter border controls and more money for Frontex, the EU’s border control agency.

This has raised concerns that Scholz could avoid fair asylum processes to reduce the number.

The MPs’ letter said: “We share the concerns of many people that proposals for a new Common European Asylum System could weaken the right to asylum.”

Separately, 730 members of the Green Party signed a letter demanding that their leadership change direction.

They said they were ‘shocked’ by the proposals being negotiated in Brussels, which aim to put in place a new system based on ‘deterrence and exclusion’.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser speak on May 10, 2023 in Berlin, ahead of a Scholz summit with state leaders focusing on the country's refugee policy.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser speak on May 10, 2023 in Berlin, ahead of a Scholz summit with state leaders focusing on the country’s refugee policy.

In the UK, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has ordered ministers to start deportation flights of migrants to Rwanda within days of the scheme removing its legal hurdles.

In a highly unusual move, Sunak has set up a Covid-style cabinet committee to ensure Rwanda’s scheme can “go live” immediately.

The committee, which has been in operation for a month, is already meeting twice a week to ensure there are no barriers to deportation flights as soon as the Illegal Migration Bill is approved by Parliament, which is likely to be in September.

A Cabinet source described the preparations for the first flight as “extraordinary”.

“No stone is left unturned to make sure this goes well,” the source said.

‚ÄúThere really is no precedent for a Prime Minister to lead such a committee on the implementation of a bill that hasn’t even passed.

‘That legislation will effectively ban Canal crossings. The expectation is that it will pass in September and you will see that the flights start in a few days.

‘People arriving by small boats will be held on barges for a day or two and then put on a plane to Rwanda or another safe country. Some of them may not even set foot on land.

‘To do that, we have to have everything in place: accommodation, transportation, legal advice. All of that is in place now to make sure things happen right away.

‘As soon as you start getting the first flights to Rwanda, you’ll start to see a deterrent effect. The officials will not accept it, the ministers have had to push this through to the end, but the prime minister is convinced.

The Court of Appeal is expected to rule this month on legal challenges to the plan, after the High Court ruled in December that it is legal.

A Home Office source confirmed that the scheme will not start until all legal appeals in the UK have been exhausted.

The prime minister has suggested that he is willing to use the Parliament Act to override the Lords, but this would delay legislation until next year.

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