Jeremy Hunt defends price of Rwanda boat plan as ministers launch new deterrance marketing campaign | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has defended the price of the Government’s stalled Rwanda deportation scheme whereas admitting it had been “very challenging” to implement.

He insisted the “overall picture” has improved regardless of figures exhibiting a hike in migrant crossings within the English Channel.

Asked why the Government was “throwing good money after bad” over its scheme to relocate asylum seekers to the African nation, the Chancellor mentioned: “We’re not.”

He added: “If I may say very gently, what you haven’t shown is the overall picture, which is that crossings are down this year by more than a third compared to last year.”

The Chancellor admitted the Government had discovered it “very challenging” to implement the scheme.

Mr Hunt mentioned: “We’ve had to pass several new laws, the courts have not agreed with some of the things we’ve done so we had to go back to Parliament and pass more laws.

“We’re in the process of doing that but we have a plan.

“And when we get those flights off to Rwanda, that will send a very strong signal to these people smugglers and the people that they’re taking, that if you come to the UK illegally, then there is a very good chance that you will be sent straight back abroad to Rwanda.”

The plan to ship some asylum seekers on a one-way ticket to Kigali was dealt one other blow when friends inflicted an additional sequence of defeats to the draft legislation on Wednesday.

MPs had rejected a raft of modifications made to the draft laws by the Lords earlier this week and ministers urged the unelected chamber to assist get it on to the statute books, however friends have once more pressed their calls for for revisions.

Meanwhile Home Secretary James Cleverly will unleash a social media marketing campaign in Vietnam to instantly goal individuals contemplating making harmful and unlawful journeys to the UK.

Ministers will use Facebook and YouTube adverts within the Asian nation, following profitable social media exercise in Albania final 12 months which contributed to a 90% discount in small boat arrivals from the nation.

Mr Cleverly mentioned: “This is a powerful campaign which demonstrates first-hand that life for people arriving here illegally is a far cry from the lies they have been sold by the gangs on the other side of the Channel.

“Last year, similar work contributed to a 90% reduction in small boat arrivals from Albania, and overall numbers are down by a third, but there is more to do.

“Expanding our campaign to Vietnam, another key partner in our work to tackle illegal migration, will help us to save more lives and dent the business model of the criminals who profit from this vile trade.”

The campaign warns prospective migrants of the reality of living in the UK illegally with no right to be in the UK and no access to public services or funding.

It includes testimonies from Home Office immigration enforcement and Border Force officers, who encounter illegal migrants that have been sold into modern slavery or illegal working by their smugglers.

Meanwhile Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has defended the cost of the Government’s stalled Rwanda deportation scheme, as he admitted it had been “very challenging” to implement.