‘We will not back down on Rwanda, Charles’: Priti Patel to launch new migrant crackdown with targeted social media campaign after Prince of Wales called her asylum plan ‘appalling’
- Comes as she faces the second round of a legal battle to ground the first flight
- Ms Patel intends to overhaul laws on modern slavery to stop them being used
- Home Secretary also examining whether to cut funding to United Nations bodies
Ministers are to bolster their plans to send migrants on a one-way ticket to Rwanda, despite Prince Charles privately describing the idea as ‘appalling’.
Home Secretary Priti Patel will this week launch an advertising blitz directed at migrants to warn that if they enter the UK they could be sent straight to the African country.
The campaign comes as she faces the second round of a legal battle to ground the first flight containing 31 asylum seekers, which is due to leave on Tuesday.
The Mail on Sunday understands Ms Patel intends to overhaul laws on modern slavery to stop them being used by Left-wing lawyers to block deportations in future.
She is also examining whether to cut funding to United Nations bodies which engage in legal action against the British Government.
The Daily Mail revealed yesterday that Charles had privately condemned Ms Patel’s Rwanda plan, which he fears will overshadow the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, on June 23.
Home Secretary Priti Patel will this week launch an advertising blitz directed at migrants to warn that if they enter the UK they could be sent straight to the African country
Ms Patel declined to comment on the report. She is known to be on friendly terms with the Prince and is a frequent visitor to Clarence House.
Charles, who will be representing the Queen, will be joined at the summit by Boris Johnson. Sources have claimed the pair’s personal relationship is occasionally fractious.
On Friday, campaigners failed in a High Court bid to halt the first Rwandan flight, with Mr Justice Swift deciding that there was a ‘material public interest’ in Ms Patel being able to carry out her policies. The Home Secretary praised the judgment, while Mr Johnson described it as ‘welcome news’.
Yesterday Mark Serwotka, head of the Public and Commercial Services Union, which brought the case along with several migration charities, refused to rule out his Border Force staff boycotting the Rwanda policy.
Ms Patel hopes that the advertising campaign will help to stem the flood of migrants across the Channel, with more than 10,000 people having made the journey so far this year
Migrants travelling through Europe will be targeted with Facebook and Instagram adverts in their native languages, warning them that even if they survive the dangerous crossing to the UK they might not even get to remain here.
Ministers are to bolster their plans to send migrants on a one-way ticket to Rwanda, despite Prince Charles privately describing the idea as ‘appalling’
One, above a picture of an overloaded dinghy in front of the white cliffs of Dover, reads: ‘Arrive illegally in the UK and you could be leaving for Rwanda’.
Another, showing a migrant behind a metal fence, warns that ‘new measures will make it harder for you to reach and remain in the UK’.
The campaign aims to counter claims by people-trafficking gangs that the arrangement with Rwanda is nothing but a ‘scare tactic’ or ‘empty threat’.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 was introduced by Theresa May before she became Prime Minister and aimed to tackle what she described as the ‘great human rights issue of our time’.
It was designed to help the 10,000 people in the UK who were then estimated to be victims of labour exploitation or sex trafficking, or living in domestic servitude.
However, it has increasingly been used by lawyers to lodge injunctions against the deportation of migrants. An independent reviewer will be appointed to examine reforms to the system.
The campaign aims to counter claims by people-trafficking gangs that the arrangement with Rwanda is nothing but a ‘scare tactic’ or ‘empty threat’
A Whitehall source said: ‘Child rapists, people who pose a threat to national security and illegal migrants who have travelled to the UK from safe countries have sought modern slavery referrals, which have prevented and delayed their removal or deportation.
‘It is imperative that this system is fixed quickly, and for good. Unless we make drastic reforms, the true victims of modern slavery will continue suffer with excessive decision-making periods, and a system that rewards those who seek only to exploit it.’
Britain last year gave nearly £80 million to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, which gave evidence during Friday’s court case arguing that the Rwanda scheme failed to meet the required standards of ‘legality and appropriateness’ for transferring asylum seekers from one country to another.
The Whitehall source added: ‘Should taxpayers’ money be used to help block Government policy?’
The Daily Mail revealed yesterday that Charles had privately condemned Ms Patel’s Rwanda plan
Ms Patel said: ‘Evil criminal gangs are putting profit over people by facilitating dangerous and illegal small boat crossings. We have a duty to warn people of the consequences of these journeys, and expose the lies sold to vulnerable migrants by inhumane people smugglers.
‘People should be in no doubt of our message here: Britain is closed for business to people-traffickers’.
Charles has been branded the ‘meddling prince’ in the past for giving his opinion to Ministers. In 2015, a series of letters he sent to former PM Tony Blair and other Government figures, dubbed the Black Spider Memos because of the Prince’s distinctive handwriting, were published following a decade-long legal battle.
Clarence House insists Prince Charles ‘remains politically neutral’, with sources saying they ‘genuinely did not recognise’ the suggestion he had fallen out with the Prime Minister.
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