Rishi Sunak’s asylum spat with Ireland explained

Ireland’s justice minister complained that migrants from the UK had started crossing the border into the Republic in order to avoid being deported to Rwanda. Helen McEntee claimed that 80% of recent asylum seekers had come from Northern Ireland; days later, the new Taoiseach, Simon Harris, said his government would be introducing a law to override an Irish court ruling that the UK is unsafe for asylum seekers owing to the Rwanda plan, with a view to sending migrants back. However, Downing Street insists that it has “no legal obligation” to accept them.

The Home Office said this week that it has begun detaining the first migrants identified for deportation to Rwanda, and confirmed that the first one-way flights would leave within nine to 11 weeks. However, it also admitted that it has been unable to locate 3,557 of the 5,700 asylum seekers due to be deported, because they’re not obliged to report to Border Force.

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