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Rwanda bill blamed for more migrants crossing into Ireland, former Taoiseach claims, as French President Macron enrages No 10 with ‘betrayal of our values’ sneer

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  • Micheal Martin claimed that migrants were entering Ireland over deport ‘fears’
  • The 63-year-old lashed out at the policy branding it a ‘knee-jerk reaction’ 

A former Taoiseach of Ireland has blamed the Rwanda bill for a spike in migrants crossing into his country from Northern Ireland.

Micheal Martin, currently the Irish foreign minister, claimed that migrants were flooding into the Republic over ‘fears’ of being deported through Rishi’s flagship Rwanda scheme. 

Under the current travel arrangement you do not need to show documentation when crossing the border, which the Irish government allege is the reason for 80 per cent of all asylum seekers in their county having crossed from Northern Ireland.  

Mr Martin said: ‘I believe the Rwanda effect is impacting on Ireland and that didn’t happen today or yesterday. It’s been growing since the first iteration and publication of that strategy around Rwanda.’

Micheal Martin, who is currently the Irish foreign minister, claimed that migrants were flooding into the Republic over ‘fears’ of being deported through Rishi’s flagship Rwanda scheme

Under the current travel arrangement you do not need to show documentation when crossing the border, which the Irish government allege is the reason for 80 per cent of all asylum seekers in their county having crossed from Northern Ireland

Under the current travel arrangement you do not need to show documentation when crossing the border, which the Irish government allege is the reason for 80 per cent of all asylum seekers in their county having crossed from Northern Ireland

He continued: ‘It is having real impact on Ireland now in terms of people being fearful in the UK — maybe that’s the impact it was designed to have.

‘They’re leaving the UK and they are taking opportunities to come to Ireland, crossing the border to get sanctuary here and within the European Union as opposed to the potential of being deported to Rwanda.’

The 63-year-old lashed out at the policy branding it a ‘knee-jerk reaction’ to Britain’s inability to control its own borders. 

However the Irish government is also under increasing pressure from its citzens to manage the issue of migration. 

Late on Thursday night six people were arrested for public disorder offences after they began protesting at a site in Newtownmountkennedy, Ireland, which had been earmarked to house asylum seekers.

The situation quickly escalated and local media have reported that three patrol cars were damaged and force was used by police ‘to defend themselves’, this includes the use of pepper spray and deployment of riot police on protestors. 

Videos published on social media show locals clashing with the police who are trying to force them back and secure the site, which was also subject to an arson attack just two weeks ago.

French President Macron condemned the flagship scheme as a 'betrayal' of European values and suggested the scheme would be 'ineffective'

French President Macron condemned the flagship scheme as a ‘betrayal’ of European values and suggested the scheme would be ‘ineffective’

This comes after French President Macron condemned the flagship scheme as a ‘betrayal’ of European values.

In an incendiary intervention yesterday, President Macron said he did not believe in ‘this model that some people want to put in place, which means that you go and look for a third country, for example in Africa, and send our immigrants there’.

He suggested the scheme would be ‘ineffective’, adding: ‘This is a betrayal of our values and will lead us down the path of new dependencies on third countries.’

Although he carefully avoided mentioning Rwanda by name, No10 did hit back saying: ‘We don’t agree, we think that our approach is the right one. In terms of breaking the business model of the criminal gangs, we need a strong deterrent.

‘And we need to make clear that if you come here in a small boat, you won’t be able to stay.

‘We’ve seen other partners and other countries around the world also explore similar options.’

The government’s Rwanda Bill finally became law on Wednesday after months of delay, and a new treaty designed to ensure the African country is safe for migrants also came into force.

The moves mean that Home Office officials can now start detaining the first batch of migrants destined for deportation to Rwanda ahead of the first flights this summer.

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