Liz Truss ‘will ask Turkey to join Rwanda deportation plan’ - report

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(Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)
(Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

Liz Truss will reportedly attempt to expand the Rwanda migrant removal scheme to countries such as Turkey if she becomes Prime Minister.

The Foreign Secretary told MPs in private, that she would like to emulate the deal struck with Rwanda in an effort to combat the Channel migrant crisis, The Times reports.

Her spokesman did not immediately comment but the newspaper said she would like to open negotiations with Turkey, which already has the largest refugee population in the world.

Almost four million Syrians are under temporary protection status.

A source close to Truss confirmed that Turkey was the “sort of country that Liz would potentially look at”, adding: “Whether the Turks are up for that is another question.”

Tory MP Christopher Chope said Ms Truss had told him in recent days that she intended to seek similar deals with other countries, naming Turkey and Spain.

Her campaign dismissed the prospect of signing a deal with Spain but Turkey was cited as a realistic possibility, The Times said.

Liz Truss at the Channel 4 leadership debate (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)
Liz Truss at the Channel 4 leadership debate (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

Rival Penny Mordaunt, the international trade minister, said she would keep the Rwanda policy but it would be part of a four-point plan to combat illegal immigration.

Channel crossings continued for an eighth consecutive day yesterday, with more than 130 people arriving, taking this year’s total to more than 14,300.

More than 1,000 people arrived in the UK between Friday and Wednesday.

This is the joint second longest successive run of crossings in 2022 so far, with a nine-day stretch recorded between April 11 and April 19 resulting in 2,143 people arriving in that period.

There was another seven-day stretch between June 12 and June 18 when 1,623 people made the crossing.

Several girls were among the latest groups of people pictured being brought ashore in Dover, Kent, amid warm weather and calm seas.

The Government has reportedly put fresh attempts to get the first deportation flight to the East African nation off the ground on hold until after the Conservative Party has elected a new prime minister over fears it could generate too much controversy during the leadership contest. The plane was grounded in June amid legal challenges.

Earlier this week armed forces minister James Heappey faced accusations the Navy had become a “tour guide for illegal migrants” since the Ministry of Defence took charge of tackling crossings in the Channel in April.

While being questioned by MPs, Mr Heappey admitted the Government had abandoned proposals to use pushbacks to turn away migrants at sea in light of conclusions from Navy experts after trials of the tactic by Royal Marines.

The Home Office said it removed 23 foreign criminals from the country, via a flight to Albania on Thursday.

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