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British Side Postpones Meeting Between James Cleverly and Helen McEntee Amid Migration Row

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British Side Postpones Meeting Between James Cleverly and Helen McEntee Amid Migration Row

British side postpones James Cleverly meeting with Helen McEntee amid row over migration

British side postpones James Cleverly meeting with Helen McEntee amid row over migration

 

UK and Irish Ministers to Meet in London Amid Escalating Row Over Migrants Crossing to Ireland

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin is scheduled to co-chair a meeting of the British Irish Inter-Governmental Conference in London on Monday alongside Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris.

The UK Home Secretary James Cleverly and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee were slated to hold discussions on “strengthening” the Common Travel Area on Monday, but the meeting was postponed late on Sunday night.

Ms. McEntee has asserted that the number of asylum seekers crossing from Northern Ireland has surged to “higher than 80 per cent” in recent months, signaling a significant shift in migration patterns.

British side postpones James Cleverly meeting with Helen McEntee amid row over migration

British side postpones James Cleverly meeting with Helen McEntee amid row over migration

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attributed the increase in asylum seekers crossing from Northern Ireland to the success of the UK’s Rwanda plan. This plan aims to deter asylum seekers from crossing the English Channel by sending them to Rwanda in East Africa.


British side postpones

Taoiseach Simon Harris emphasized on Sunday that Ireland will not serve as a “loophole” for addressing other countries’ migration challenges. He stressed the importance of close collaboration and cooperation between the British and Irish governments, stating that it is not only desirable but essential.

Mr. Harris also highlighted the significance of collaboration between the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and An Garda Síochána (the Irish police force) in addressing migration issues.

However, the UK government has rejected any attempts by Ireland to return asylum seekers unless France agrees to do the same with boats crossing the English Channel. A government source stated, “We won’t accept any asylum returns from the EU via Ireland until the EU accepts that we can send them back to France.”

Northern Ireland First Minister Michelle O’Neill called for a thoughtful and considered response from both the British and Irish governments in addressing these migration challenges.

NI Troubles: British-Irish meeting to focus on legacy act

Irish ministers are anticipated to deliberate on emergency legislation on Tuesday, which aims to facilitate the “return” of asylum seekers to the UK.

This legislative initiative comes in response to a ruling by the Irish High Court, which concluded that Ireland designating the UK as a “safe third country” for returning asylum seekers, particularly in the context of the Rwanda plan, contravenes EU law.

“I will seek Government approval for the legislation to be rapidly drafted so that the UK can again be designated as a safe country for returns,” stated Ms. McEntee in a statement regarding the upcoming emergency legislation.

“My department has prioritized this matter since last month’s High Court judgment, and I intend for returns to the UK to resume once the law is enacted.”

Mr. Martin expressed his satisfaction at being in London for another significant meeting of the BIIGC, the first since the restoration of the Strand I and Strand II institutions.

“There are numerous areas of mutual interest for the Governments to discuss, and I anticipate another productive conference,” he added.

 

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