Theresa May Speaks Out Against Priti Patel's Rwanda Asylum Plan

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Former prime minister Theresa May. (Photo: Steve Parsons - PA Images via Getty Images)
Former prime minister Theresa May. (Photo: Steve Parsons - PA Images via Getty Images)

Former prime minister Theresa May. (Photo: Steve Parsons - PA Images via Getty Images)

Theresa May today spoke out against Priti Patel’s controversial plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The former prime minister and home secretary said she opposes the plan because of reasons of “legality, practicality and efficacy”.

The top Tory politician also raised concerns that the policy could lead to an increase in the trafficking of women and children.

May told the Commons: “Can I say with respect to my right honourable friend, from what I have heard and seen so far of this policy, I do not support the removal to Rwanda policy on the grounds of legality, practicality and efficacy.

“But I want to ask her about one very specific issue. I understand that those who will be removed will only be young men, that families will not be...well the home secretary shaking her head so I’ve obviously misunderstood the policy in that sense.

“But if it is the case that families will not be broken up, and the home secretary is nodding, does she not believe and where is her evidence that this will not simply lead to an increase in the trafficking of women and children?”

It comes after the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said there were “serious ethical questions” about the plan.

Patel hit back saying that she would be “very happy” to meet with May to discuss it further.

When MPs heckled her, she told them to “calm down and listen”.

She said the policy was legal and when she was heckled again, said: “Well, you’re not even listening…”

Patel said a memorandum of understanding spelt out the legalities and nature of the agreement.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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