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Ireland to form plans to send asylum seekers to Britain – UPI.com

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Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said his government will draft plans to send asylum seekers to Britain, alleging increased immigration after Britain passed a law to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. Photo by Mostafa Darwish/EPA-EFE

April 28 (UPI) — New Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said Sunday he asked his government to formulate a plan to return asylum seekers to Britain.

Harris asked Justice Minister Helen McEntee to deliver proposals to the cabinet next week to facilitate the deferrals after saying a newly implemented British plan to ship asylum seekers who arrive in Britain to Rwanda led to 80% of recent asylum seekers in Ireland arriving through its land border with Northern Ireland.

A Harris spokesperson said he does not comment on other countries’ migration policies but that he is “very clear about the importance of protecting the integrity of the migration system in Ireland.”

“Ireland has a rules-based system that must always be applied firmly and fairly,” the spokesperson said. “This is one of a number of measures we are taking to strengthen our system and ensure that it is strong, effective and agile. Rules and the integrity of our migration system will be to the fore of our actions.”

McEntee said in an interview with RTE that she would raise the issue of a new policy to return asylum seekers to Britain with British Home Secretary James Cleverly in a visit to London on Monday.

“There are many reasons why we have seen an increase in migration toward Ireland,” she said. “What’s clear in the decision that the U.K. have taken in choosing Brexit they have actually seen an increase in people seeking asylum in their country. The way that they deal with that, it’s their policy.”

The call for a new plan also comes after the Irish High Court blocked previously established returns, ruling last month that Ireland’s designation of Britain as a “safe third country” where asylum seekers could be deferred violated EU law.

British lawmakers last week successfully passed the law that designated Rwanda as a safe third country for Britain to send its asylum seekers after months of political back and forth.

Britain on Friday denied that the law had already impacted migration into Ireland, telling SkyNews in an interview Sunday that the suggestion indicated “that illegal migration is a global challenge.”

“[That] is why you’re seeing multiple countries talk about doing third country partnerships, looking at novel ways to solve this problem, and I believe will follow where the U.K. has led,” said Sunak.

The challenge arose early in the tenure of Harris, who was elected earlier this month as Ireland’s youngest prime minister or taoiseach, after his predecessor Leo Varadkar resigned unexpectedly in March.

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