DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Now will the Rwanda plan finally take off?

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Now will the Rwanda plan finally take off?

The High Court declared the policy lawful. Now the Appeal Court has reinforced that decision.

So despite howls of protest from the liberal Left, the first flight carrying cross-Channel migrants to Rwanda for their asylum claims to be processed has been cleared for take-off. The crucial question, however: Will there be anyone on it?

In a last-ditch bid to thwart Priti Patel’s attempt to stem the flow of illegal migration from Calais, human rights lawyers have lodged individual appeals on behalf of all 130 passengers originally booked on the flight.

They hope this rearguard action (funded by legal aid, of course) will overturn the rulings. If they succeed it will be a travesty – both of justice and democracy.

Despite howls of protest from the liberal Left, the first flight carrying cross-Channel migrants to Rwanda has been cleared for take-off

Inevitably, the Archbishop of Canterbury joined Labour and other virtue-signallers in attacking the Home Secretary’s policy as ‘immoral’.

But isn’t it worse to maintain a system that encourages migrants to risk their lives on a daily basis and allows vile people traffickers to make a fortune by exploiting them?

Removing illegal arrivals to Rwanda would send a highly visible signal to others that crossing the Channel in a dinghy is no longer a viable way of securing UK residence.

If the protesters have a better way of doing that – short of throwing open our borders completely – let’s hear it.

Protocol pragmatism

The Northern Ireland Protocol was always a fudge. However, it was essential to breaking the deadlock over Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

While unpalatable, with good faith and common sense, an Irish Sea border might have worked until a better solution was found. But for Brussels the protocol has become a stick with which to beat the UK for the impertinence of Brexit.

Swamped by unnecessary red tape and paperwork, shipping food and goods into the province has become a monstrous ordeal for British firms, leading to shortages in shops and a rise in sectarian discontent.

Yesterday, the UK Government published an eminently sensible compromise.

The new arrangement would see imports arriving from the mainland channelled into red lanes, for goods intended for sale outside Northern Ireland, or green lanes, for products to be sold domestically. Disputes would be resolved by independent arbitration, not by the European Court of Justice.

The EU says, spuriously, this would be a breach of international law and threatens punitive action. But the measures are pragmatic rather than confrontational.

Ministers are simply striving to create a workable solution, which cools tempers, brings the Unionists back to Stormont and helps both businesses and consumers through this tricky Brexit transition.

Is it really too hard for Brussels to accept such basic common sense?

  • A press free from censorship is the citizen’s surest defence against corrupt politicians and other wrongdoers. But Labour is shamefully conspiring to use the Government’s Online Safety Bill as a Trojan horse to bring in Press regulation. Their amendment links exemptions for news publishers from internet censorship to membership of a state-approved watchdog. In the name of democracy, ministers must strangle this sinister plot at birth.
  • For a man who’s been so scathing of Boris Johnson’s supposed moral shortcomings, Sir Keir Starmer has plenty of skeletons in his own cupboard. With the police inquiry into Beergate ongoing, we now learn he is being investigated by Parliament’s standards watchdog over his failure to declare gifts and lucrative outside earnings on time. Given these allegations, is Labour’s leader really the squeaky clean alternative he so pompously pretends to be – or just a shameless hypocrite?

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