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Tory MP hails ‘golden opportunity’ for migrants to be sent to NI to cross border into Republic

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It comes amid tensions between the the UK Government and the Republic over claims that large numbers of asylum seekers are crossing the border to avoid being deported to the African state.

Former Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg told viewers of his GB News show that the “pious Irish government” was learning a lesson in the “full benefit of human rights laws and open borders”.

He then claimed there was a “golden opportunity” to use an ex-army barracks facing demolition, believed to be a reference to Ballykinler, as accommodation before sending “all the illegal migrants in the UK to facilities near the Irish border”.

“Northern Ireland is a fundamental part of the United Kingdom, it can do its bit and house some migrants which can then be sent over to the Republic where they will be wonderfully safe as opposed to this dangerous land that they tried to get into in the first place”.

The North East Somerset MP said it would have key benefits including keeping the costs of Rwanda down “because so few would be sent there” and “the EU would be so happy because it would fulfil its beloved human rights obligations”.

Mr Rees-Mogg said it would also allow the Irish Government to “feel a sense of superiority to His Majesty’s Government”.

“If it just so happens that they then end up crossing the border, which according to the Belfast Agreement must remain open, and indeed our departure from EU agreement, so be it,’ Mr Rees-Mogg continued.

“According to the Irish courts they are happy to take in all of the poor refugees fleeing persecution.”

Ireland has redeployed 100 police officers to immigration enforcement in a signal of its determination to act.

Downing Street has dismissed demands to take back migrants, despite Ireland claiming it has a right to do so under the Common Travel Area terms on the island.

Irish ministers are having to push a new law declaring Britain “safe”.

The embarrassing move would effectively reversing an Irish High Court ruling that the UK is no longer a “safe third country” for returning asylum seekers because of the Rwanda plan.

“There will be no migrants coming to the UK from Ireland and there’s no need to stop them going there,” Mr Rees-Mogg said.

He then suggested that a “maverick viewer” might set up a charity to send them to NI to cross the border concluding “I believe its a very pleasant place to be this time of year”.

The Prime Minister has flatly rejected the idea of accepting asylum seekers back from Ireland.

On Monday Rishi Sunak said he was ‘not interested’ in a returns deal if the EU did not allow the UK to send back asylum seekers who had crossed the Channel from France.

Dublin has claimed the number of asylum seekers crossing from NI is now “higher than 80 per cent” of Ireland’s overall total due to a shift in migration patterns in recent months.

The issue was discussed by the UK and Irish governments at high-level talks in London yesterday.

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris told the Commons this week that the UK’s “new deterrent is clearly working and having some impact already”.

“An impact that will obviously increase as the first flights take off for Rwanda,” he added.

‘We will obviously monitor all this very closely and continue to work with the Irish Government on these matters.’

Mr Heaton-Harris said there is “no way that we would want to upset our relationship with Ireland” and pointed out that there is a “joint commitment to protect the common travel area from abuse”.

But Tory MP Mark Francois told GB News that Ireland has been “hoist by their own petard”.

News Catch Up: Tuesday 30th April 2024

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