UK think tank proposes alternative to Rwanda migrant scheme

Institute for Public Policy Research recommends establishing safer and more accessible routes for those seeking refuge

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought to Dover, Kent, by a UK Border Force vessel. Monday October 23, 2023. PA
Powered by automated translation

The Institute for Public Policy Research has put forward an alternative to the UK government’s “impractical” and “costly” Rwanda scheme.

Addressing the small boat crisis and the broader challenges faced by the current system, the think tank believes that a more “humane” response can be adopted to handle the rise in asylum seekers making the journey across the Channel.

The IPPR recommends establishing safer and more accessible routes for those seeking refuge in the UK.

This includes piloting a unique refugee visa, particularly for Afghans, allowing them to apply for temporary leave to enter the UK via embassies in other countries, diminishing the need for Channel crossings.

Alongside this, the IPPR calls for renewed collaboration with European nations to jointly tackle people smuggling, resolve immigration statuses in northern France and develop mutual agreements on processing asylum claims.

The think tank also makes the case for a revamp of the UK’s current asylum system, addressing the significant backlog and reimagining the asylum accommodation model.

100,000 migrants cross the Channel in five years – in pictures

“The government has challenged those opposed to the Rwanda deal to propose a credible alternative. Our new report does just that,” said Marley Morris, associate director for migration at IPPR.

“Compared with the impractical, costly Rwanda plan, our focus is on solutions which are humane, evidence-based and deliverable.

“Under our approach, the government would reform and expand safe alternatives for people seeking refuge in the UK, to divert them away from crossing the Channel in dangerous, unseaworthy boats.

“New deals with the UK’s partners in Europe would seek a managed, orderly approach to resolving asylum claims.

“And finally, we need to get to grips with the failures of the asylum system at home with a concerted effort to triage asylum claims and bring down the backlog, saving millions on hotels in the process.”

The Supreme Court is currently reviewing the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, with a decision expected by the end of the year.

The IPPR’s proposal is part of a report titled Charting new waters: A progressive policy response to the channel crossings.

Updated: October 31, 2023, 12:01 AM