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UK not outsourcing responsibilities, minister claims after archbishop criticises Rwanda asylum plan

A minister has rejected claims from Justin Welby that Britain is “sub-contracting” its responsibilities, hailing the widely condemned deal to send asylum seekers to Rwanda as “bold” and…

By admin , in UK , at April 18, 2022 Tags: ,

A minister has rejected claims from Justin Welby that Britain is “sub-contracting” its responsibilities, hailing the widely condemned deal to send asylum seekers to Rwanda as “bold” and “innovative”.

The energy minister, Greg Hands, also echoed comments from Priti Patel, that critics of the plan, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, needed to “show what their solution would be” to Channel crossings.

The remarks come as some Conservative MPs criticised the head of the Church of England for “sharpening political divisions” while cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg claimed he had misunderstood the policy.

In a scathing intervention during his Easter Sunday sermon, Mr Welby suggested the plan — signed by the home secretary with the Rwandan government last week — would not stand the “judgement of God”.

The Archbishop of Canterbury accused the government of “sub-contracting” its responsibilities, and claimed there were “serious ethical questions about sending asylum seekers overseas”.

“The details are for politics. The principle must stand the judgment of God, and it cannot,” he added.

Pressed on whether it was wrong for Mr Welby to describe the asylum plan as “ungodly”, Mr Hands told Sky News: “I think what others, the critics of this plan, need to do is show what their solution would be.”

He added: “We have a position now where last year 28,500 people crossed the Channel illegally into this country — this is a growing problem. We’ve taken a bold and innovative measure with Rwanda to take action here.”

Despite a poll last week showing more people were opposed to the proposals than supported — 42 per cent versus 34 per cent — the minister said: “I think the British people are in support of that”.

Quizzed on the Archbishop’s claim that the UK is outsourcing its responsibilities by sending migrants on a one-way ticket to Rwanda, over 4,000 miles away, Mr Hands replied: “No, we’re not.

“This is an agreement between two sovereign countries: the UK and Rwanda, where Rwanda with its very good track record on taking refugees, asylum seekers, it’s an innovative solution.