David Cameron said critics of the government’s plan to send small boat migrants to Rwanda should stop the attacks until they had a “better answer”.
The former Tory prime minister said he had “huge sympathy” with the effort to crack down on smugglers involved in moving migrants across the Channel.
It comes as the Archbishop of Canterbury again attacked Suella Braverman’s Illegal Migration Bill and warned senior bishops would “not give up” on their opposition.
The Home Secretary’s highly controversial immigration bill aims to send asylum seekers who return home through unauthorized routes to the UK – or to third countries such as Rwanda.
Asked about the Rwanda plan, Mr Cameron told LBC: “I think if you don’t have a better answer to the things that the government is doing to try and stop this illegal trade, I think There’s no point in criticizing that.”
The former PM said that he “has great sympathy with the government when they say we have to demolish the model of people smugglers”, adding that “people who come this way shouldn’t be able to stay”. .
Mr Cameron said: “So until you get a better answer, you won’t find me in radio and television studios telling Suella Braverman what to do.”
The former PM compared this to the EU’s 2016 deal with Turkey, which called for asylum seekers in Greece to be sent back to Turkey. “We know there are ways to shut down people-smuggling businesses,” he said.
“When the deal was done – there was a lot of criticism – but when the deal was done, that everyone who came from Turkey to Greece was sent back to Turkey, the people-smuggling operation collapsed, because suddenly people smugglers who Were selling, could not sell.
The British government refused a series of proposals to deal with people smugglers in the years leading up to the deal with Rwanda – including proposed legislation in the House of Lords and a parliamentary committee, border guards and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Contains official recommendations by. ,
The Archbishop of Canterbury – who called the government’s approach to deporting small boat migrants “morally unacceptable” – said those who attacked him for criticizing the government’s bill in the Lords were “good in trust” were not working.
i am writing many timesThe Reverend Justin Welby said: “Those who sit on the bishop’s bench will not abdicate our duty to point out when governments propose impractical or immoral legislation. We will not abdicate the most vulnerable who Jesus Christ specifically tells us to love.”
Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak is reportedly set to decide whether to order an ethics inquiry into Ms Braverman’s handling of her speeding offence. The PM is still considering the evidence after allegedly requesting help from civil servants in arranging a private speed awareness course.
Ms Braverman is also facing charges of possible code breaches at a later date Independent revealed that he had not officially disclosed his past ties to Rwanda when he was appointed Home Secretary in 2022.
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner, accusing the PM of “panicking and delay”, asked “how many strikes” would it take for Mr Sunak to sack his home secretary.
Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said the PM is taking the right approach, quoting Charles Dickens high hopes, “Take nothing on sight, take everything on evidence. There is no better rule,” he said.
It comes a day before the release of official figures which are expected to show legal migration has reached a record 700,000 this year.
According to Professor Brian Bell, chair of the Migration Advisory Committee, the high level of immigration is due to “deliberate government policy”. “Offering humanitarian schemes to Ukrainian and Hong Kong citizens is a controlled decision. But it essentially increases net migration. You can’t have it both ways,” he told Times Radio.
Meanwhile, the government has announced that 200 Albanian nationals jailed in England and Wales will be sent home for the remainder of their sentences, amid concerns that UK prisons are nearing capacity.
The Justice Ministry said that criminals who have been sentenced to four years or more will return to their country of origin to serve the remainder. According to the department, the arrangement will also see Britain provide aid to Albania to help modernize its prison system.