Archbishop of Canterbury told ‘hand-wringing’ will not stop the boats | Politics | News

January 29, 2024
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The Archbishop of Canterbury was told “hand-wringing” will not solve the small boats crisis after he led opposition to the Rwanda bill.

Justin Welby criticised the deportation plan for “leading the nation down a damaging path” and claimed the nation can “do better”.

But Lord Dobbs hit out at critics for choosing the “moral high ground” instead of tackling the “sickening“ trade.

The House of Cards author said: “No amount of hand wringing is going to make it go away.”

He said opponents should come forward with alternatives if they are against the plan.

“If we stand still and do nothing the consequences for this country are likely to be catastrophic,” he added.

The Safety of Rwanda Bill, which will allow the government to send illegal migrants crossing the Channel in small boats to the east African nation, faces a rocky ride in the House of Lords.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has urged peers against blocking “the will of the people” by opposing the Bill.

But Mr Welby accused the Government of outsourcing the country’s “legal and moral responsibilities”.

The top Anglican cleric argued “a pick-and-choose approach to international law” undermined the UK’s global standing as he signalled he may seek to block the policy at a later date.

He said: “We can, as a nation, do better than this Bill.

“With this Bill the Government is continuing to seek good objectives in the wrong way, leading the nation down a damaging path.

“We need a wider strategy for refugee policy which involves international co-operation and which equips us for the far greater migration flows, perhaps 10 times greater in the coming decades, as a result of conflict and climate change and poverty. Instead this Bill offers only ad hoc one-off approaches.”

Tory former chancellor Lord Clarke said he will not support the bill unless it is substantially amended.

He said it is “necessary to have a credible and effective policy on illegal migration”, as it had a “symbolic effect” on public opinion.

“If they think we have lost control then that threatens a very nasty change in public attitudes caused by doubts,” he warned.

But the Tory peer said Parliament overruling the courts on Rwanda’s safety set a “very dangerous constitutional provision”.

Labour former home secretary Lord Blunkett said: “This is nothing to do with finding solutions, it is everything to do to virtue signalling, as you might in quotes put it… to a particular part of the electorate and to find scapegoats for Government failure.”



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