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Christian MP believes Rwanda Bill will deter migrants from crossing

by Kelly Valencia

A Christian Conservative MP has told Premier Christian News he believes the recently passed Rwanda Bill is a good way of deterring migrants from crossing the English Channel.

Gary Streeter made the remarks as the government’s key policy passed all parliamentary hurdles in the early hours of Tuesday. The legislation was returned to the House of Commons five times and is now with the King for royal assent.

However, critics argue that the proposed measures may not address the root causes of migration or adequately protect the rights of asylum seekers.

Speaking to Premier Christian Radio, Phil Kerton, co-founder of Seeking Sanctuary, a charity working with asylum seekers, said “loads of people will continue to arrive” and called on a more “constructive” idea to deal with the issue.

“The trouble is that politicians has presented as it is there’s only two options. We either send them to Rwanda, or we let them all. There are halfway houses, treating them with some sort of mercy like the Good Samaritan gentleman, this hated neighbour from a heated race. He sorted his health care, made sure he was alright, and sent him on his way.

“He didn't send him off to somewhere else. But he made sure that he was fit and well and that he could carry on with his life.”

However, for the MP for South West Devon the policy seems a good way of tackling this issue as the current system is “overwhelmed”.

“I've spoken to so many groups and asked so many people, ‘Okay, if this isn't going to work, tell me something that will work’. I know our political opponents have gone about ‘smashing the gangs’. Well, we have already tried to do that and these are very cunning people who live sort of in the twilight zone, and unfortunately, it's very hard to ‘smash the gangs’ and stop this from happening. We've had endless discussions from France. We have paid an awful lot of money to the French government to try and help get them to stop this from happening and it's not really working.”

He continued: “We have to be bold here and put in place a major deterrent. So I don't know if it will work. I think it will work. We have to find something to work because the current system is overwhelming us and causing many people to lose their lives.”

Church of England bishops sitting in the House of Lords have previously condemned the Bill, with the Archbishop of Canterbury describing it as "morally wrong". When asked about this, Streeter said he disagrees with Most Rev Justin Welby.

“He's a very good man, a good strong leader of the Church of England, but you know, we are entitled to take a different view. Throughout my 32 years in the House of Commons Archbishop of Canterburys have often criticised governments of all colours for doing certain things. It's worth listening to that. But in the end, we have to accept our own judgment. And in relation to flights to Rwanda, we have to find a way of stopping people getting in those boats putting their own lives at risk and overwhelming our asylum system in this country.”

On Monday Prime Minsiter Rishi Sunak said planes will start taking off within ten to twelve weeks.

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