UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said “enemies” want to use migration as a “weapon” to deliberately drive people to their shores to ‘destabilise the society’.
In one of his strongest attacks on illegal immigration, Sunak warned that the growing number of migrants could “overwhelm” European countries if swift action is not taken to address the issue, The Evening Standard reported.
“Criminal gangs find the ugliest ways to exploit our humanity and don’t have a problem with putting people’s lives at risk by putting them on boats,” Sunak said, addressing a gathering of Italian Conservatives and Right-wingers in Italy.
“If we do not tackle this problem, the numbers will only grow. It will overwhelm our countries and our capacity to help those who actually need our help the most.”
The Prime Minister also said changes to global refugee rules could be needed to tackle illegal migration.
“Because if we don’t fix this problem now, the boats will keep coming and more lives will be lost at sea,” Sunak added.
Sunak’s remarks come after he narrowly escaped a rebellion by his MPs over the Rwanda Bill last week.
For the moment, they refrained from pulling the rug on Sunak on the basis that he had indicated to them that he was willing to accept amendments that would tighten the Bill, IANS reported earlier.
The Rwanda Bill forms the core of Sunak’s policy to stop the boats — one of five key priorities, which he set out at the start of the year.
Once the bill — one of the toughest immigration legislation ever introduced to the UK Parliament — receives Royal Assent, it will pave the way for the UK to begin next steps in processing people for relocation and starting removal flights to Rwanda.