UK's Rwanda policy driving asylum seekers to Ireland, says Martin

Uk's Rwanda Policy Driving Asylum Seekers To Ireland, Says Martin
Tánaiste Micheál Martin said the UK government's plan to send international protection applicants to Rwanda is already affecting Ireland. Photo: PA Images
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The threat of deportation to Rwanda is causing migrants to head for Ireland instead of staying in the UK, Tánaiste Micheál Martin told a British newspaper on Friday.

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak's flagship programme to send asylum seekers to Rwanda if they arrive in the UK illegally was approved by the UK parliament earlier this week and the UK government wants the first flights to take off in 10 to 12 weeks.


However, Mr Martin told The Daily Telegraph that the policy was already affecting Ireland because people were "fearful" of staying in the UK.

The Tánaiste said asylum seekers were seeking "to get sanctuary here and within the European Union as opposed to the potential of being deported to Rwanda".

Earlier this week, Minister of Justice Helen McEntee told the Oireachtas Justice Committee she estimates that more than 80 per cent of people applying for asylum in the State are coming from the UK via the border with Northern Ireland.


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