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Rishi Sunak will not take back migrants because of general election, says Irish PM



There was speculation in the Irish media that the redeployment of officers could lead to a ramping up of Operation Sonnet, which is known as Operation Gulf in the UK. The long-standing joint operation aims to ensure people in the Common Travel Area between the two countries are doing so legally.

Mary Lou McDonald, the Sinn Fein leader, accused the Irish government of “incredible incompetence”, saying it had given “a gift to the Tory party”, which was “desperate for a row” over migration. The Irish republican and democratic socialist party has a long-held poll lead, with an election required to be held by March 2025.

Meanwhile, Kevin Saunders, the UK’s former chief immigration officer, warned that migrants earmarked for the first deportation flights are likely to disappear and will “probably” end up in Ireland.

This speculation has come after the Home Office admitted it was unable to locate thousands of migrants it intends to start detaining this week, ready for deportation. More than 5,700 migrants have been identified for removal but only 2,145 of them continue to report to the Home Office and can be located for detention.

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