UK and Ireland: immigration row

Dublin has blamed the controversial Rwanda deal in the UK for a surge in the number of asylum seekers arriving in Ireland. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak categorically rejected any discussion about their returning from Ireland to the UK, pointing out that Paris has also been intransigent towards London on this issue. Commentators see a dispute in which there are many losers and no winners.

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The Independent (GB) /

Playing ping pong with people's lives

This is an inhumane and misguided move, complains The Independent:

“We shouldn't play ping pong with people's lives. ... You wouldn't think from all the xenophobia and the current refugee hysteria that Europe is not in fact 'full', and actually has a terrible shortage of labour. ... Instead, we just attempt to pass these people around and around without making the issue ever go away; and spend millions ... on a bizarre scheme to send them to Rwanda.”

Le Monde (FR) /

Grabbing at straws

Cécile Ducourtieux, London correspondent for Le Monde, sees this as a desperate move by Sunak:

“The Rwanda deal is probably the prime Minister's last chance to reverse the trend in the polls, in which the Tories have been lagging 20 points behind Labour for months. Twice Sunak has announced cuts in national insurance contributions with Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt. ... Rishi Sunak has also eased relations with the EU, negotiated a Brexit deal with Northern Ireland, continued financial support for Ukraine, kept his promise to halve inflation by the end of 2023 and introduced free hours of childcare at nurseries. ... Rishi Sunak is reliable and hard-working, but he has taken too long in distancing himself from his two predecessors.”

Irish Independent (IE) /

Everyone must work together on this

The Irish Independent admonishes:

“They say the most important thing in communication is hearing what is not said. In this case, it is that the issue of migration cannot be managed without co-operation on all sides. ... Mr Sunak cannot slam the door on the EU, no matter how many 'likes' he may get from full-blooded Tories. ... Numbers are being thrown about, but the fate of human beings is in the balance. An effective EU-UK plan is needed for saving lives.”