Archbishops' intervention over Rwanda asylum plan show that policy needs further thought - The Yorkshire Post says

The Government’s controversial plan to send migrants to the East African nation of Rwanda ran into considerable opposition this Easter weekend.

Both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York used the Easter addresses to denounce the policy.

The head of the Church of England Justin Welby called the policy would not stand the judgement of God while the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell called the move “truly appalling and distressing”.

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For such senior clerical figures to be so critical showcases the strength of feeling among the public about the move which would mean that, instead of processing applicants on British soil, people who are deemed to have entered Britain by unlawful means may be sent 4,000 miles to Rwanda to apply.

The Archbishop of CanterburyThe Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury

Those that remain will be processed in new onshore facilities such as those in Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire.

The two archbishops have been joined in their condemnation by MPs, including many Conservatives, as well as charities and campaigners.

Revelations over the weekend show that even the Home Office’s Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft has warned Home Secretary Priti Patel that he believes there to be “uncertainty surrounding the value for money of the proposal”.

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While the Government’s zeal to fix our unfit for purpose asylum policy is to be welcomed, it is clear that the considerable opposition to such a dramatic shift in policy direction now needs to be subjected to further scrutiny. Ms Patel however seems to be heading in the opposite direction and has instead issued a rare ministerial direction on the matter in the hopes of expediting the plans passage.

She should reverse this move and instead defend her plans in open and free democratic debate.

To do otherwise flies in the face of parliamentary democracy.