The British government’s attempted roll out of the much denigrated ‘Rwanda Plan’ to cope with asylum claims is sure to catch the covert attention of many EU states.
Aimed at mitigating the pull factor of those taking their chances crossing the English Channel as well as trimming down on overall expense, the scheme entails transporting illegal immigrants and dud asylum claimants to Rwanda for processing following arrangements with local authorities there.
Eliciting the expected response from the progressive press pack in the UK, the scheme is the brainchild of the Tory Home Office’s Priti Patel and promises to pay the Rwandan government between £20-30,000 per deportee as well as a starting fund of £120 million.
Born out of a growing crisis on the English Channel, the scheme precludes minors from being transported to the East African nation and has the general support of 42% of the British public.
Not fully operational until 2027 even though some test cases will commence shortly, the scheme aims to puncture the profit margins of human smugglers as well as to wean out the undeserving from the asylum queue.
The success or failure of the initiative will draw the attention of the EU eyeing up its southern and eastern frontiers where a new migration surge may be on the horizon with expected food shortages in the Middle East.
Similarly Denmark is attempting a similar scheme (likely to be blocked by the ECHR) with the EU itself attempting small scale relocation efforts to Rwanda from Libya 2019.
A better option than offering leverage to strongmen like Erdogan or Lukashenko, the long term ploy to outsource asylum claims away from the bloc has been quietly muted many times in Brussels as the rising tide of populism and pan-European disunity continues.
For the Republic of Ireland the situation is complex, opening up the clear potential for an asylum spike from the UK should we become an attractive safety valve for migrants and UK authorities.
As a predominantly English speaking statelet within both the Common Travel Area and the EU there will be a degree of blowback should the scheme be actualised.
While the Rwanda scheme is far from functional there is already a trickle of asylum applicants being reported as fleeing to the Republic over even the potential of being sent to Rwanda.
Receiving 56,495 applicants in 2021 (relative to the Republic’s 2,649) the economics of scale entail Ireland will bear the brunt of any overflow from British asylum figures should the Patel Home Office turn the screw on the asylum complex.
Even prior to Brexit the slow boiling issue of Pakistani male asylum seekers escaping the law to Ireland drew the attention of migration officials from Whitehall and Dublin.
As with Defence the Irish state is an essential black hole when it comes to asylum policy compounded as much by institutional incompetence as the well oiled NGO asylum industry.
With imbecilic plans for quikfire own door housing promised to asylum seekers under O’Gorman’s White Paper, our easy access to both the UK and EU travel areas nevermind the lack of interest of authorities in even pretending to enforce deportation orders Ireland is moving up the menu list for would be residents.
Every day an asylum catastrophe of our own reckoning moves closer and closer with the present fallout from the Ukraine crisis potentially just for starters.
As of the time of writing it’s a question of whether the Irish government will be brought to task by the UK/EU or will face a populist electoral bomb at home, potentially during the early stages of SF-Left government.
After Ukraine and with a epoch defining housing crisis it won’t take too many asylum straws to break the camel’s back on housing and nativists can forlornly wait for the day this realisation comes hot and heavy.
Just be ready for when the cracks begin to really show.