Iain Duncan Smith makes false claim that successful asylum seekers would return from Rwanda

Another Tory lie...

We should be under no illusion. The government’s Rwanda Asylum scheme is not only inhumane and cruel, but it is also unworkable and a waste of public money.

Yet that won’t stop Tory politicians from pushing out falsehoods and distortions to garner public support for it. During an interview with LBC Radio, Iain Duncan Smith claimed that asylum seekers sent to Rwanda as part of the UK’s new partnership with the country would be allowed to return to the UK, if they are found not to have migrated for economic reasons.

The Tory MP said on the 19th June: “The people that [the government] are going to be sending [to Rwanda] are going to be essentially those that are suspected strongly of being there for economic reasons where they’ll be processed. If they’re wrong, they’ll come back to the UK.”

However, as FullFact highlighted, the former Tory party leader was incorrect in making the claim.

Looking back at the terms of the scheme as well as the ‘Memorandum of Understanding between the United Kingdom and the government of Rwanda’, it’s pretty clear that people sent to Rwanda will not be automatically allowed to return to the UK, even if their refugee status is accepted.

The memorandum states: “For those recognised as refugees by Rwanda, Rwanda will grant the Relocated Individual refugee status and provide the same level of support and accommodation as a Relocated Individual seeking asylum, integration into society and freedom of movement in accordance with the Refugee Convention.”

As for those whose claims are not successful and who are not eligible to remain in Rwanda, they will be removed to another country where they have a right to reside.

The first flight to Rwanda was cancelled minutes before take-off after an intervention by the European Court of Human Rights, with Labour’s Yvette Cooper saying that the government knew there were “torture and trafficking victims” among those the government planned to put on the plane.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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