This scheme is unethical and all the evidence suggests it won’t work in tackling the evil trade of the people traffickers. It will also be extortionately expensive, as the experience of the Australian offshoring model has proved.
We all want to see an end to the criminal exploitation of vulnerable people that has led to the wave of small boats making the dangerous journey across the English Channel, but this cannot be the solution.
It’s not just me and my colleagues on the Labour benches who oppose it. Sir David Normington, who was the most senior civil servant in the Home Office, says “it’s inhumane, morally reprehensible and probably unlawful.” And my friend, the Tory peer Sayeeda Warsi, says it’s “ineffective and costly” and “shames our proud history as advocates of human rights and the refugee convention.”
MPs of all parties have suggested that this scheme is politically motivated and designed to distract attention from the terrible cost of living crisis and the fact that Boris Johnson and his Chancellor have been shown to have broken the law during the Covid pandemic.
When Parliament returns after Easter I shall be adding my voice to those calling for workable solutions, not costly and ineffective attacks on the victims of people trafficking.