Liz Truss vows to take Rwanda policy to other countries to 'help build their economies'

Tory leadership contender plans to expand controversial immigration system

Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss speaks at a hustings event in Darlington. Reuters
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British Conservatives leadership candidate Liz Truss has claimed she would expand the Rwanda immigration policy to other countries to help “build their economy”, during an audience question session with GB News.

“I would make sure we legislate for Britain, that we are in control of our own policy and we can’t be overruled by the ECHR [European Court of Human Rights]," Ms Truss said.

“I would also work with other countries to get new deals to find new locations, because what is really important is that countries like Rwanda want citizens in their country helping to build their economy.

"They don’t want a massive brain drain of people, but we need to work with them to make that happen and ensure there is somewhere for the illegal immigrants to go."

After an audience member described the French government as “completely unco-operative” on immigration, Ms Truss replied: “You don’t say”.

“I did have a very tough conversation with the French foreign minister [Catherine Colonna] two weeks ago, because the French are not putting enough staff on the borders at Dover to deal with the long backlogs," she said.

"And I will be very clear and robust in my negotiations with the French.

She said that any move to “whack up” taxes to pay more in benefits during the crisis in the cost of living would lead to trouble.

Ms Truss said she would do “everything I can” to support families in the current financial climate.

With analysts predicting average annual household energy bills could top £4,200 ($5,129) in January, the cost of living continues to dominate the exchanges in the battle to succeed departing prime minister Boris Johnson.

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“If the only answer to everything is to whack up taxes and give out more benefits then the country is going to run into trouble,” Ms Truss said.

“We are predicted to have a recession. It is important we grow the economy. I will do everything I can to support working families who work hard and do the right thing.

“If I am elected as your prime minister, I will make sure the chancellor has an emergency budget and looks at this issue in the round and sorts this issue out.”

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Mr Sunak’s supporters seized on his opponent’s offers of further cost-of-living support and said she appeared to be backing away from her previous position.

“This is a major U-turn on the biggest issue currently facing the country,” a campaign spokesman said.

“Taking action means providing direct support, which Truss had previously dismissed as ‘handouts’."

Updated: August 11, 2022, 7:20 AM