Fury as UK takes back 50 migrants from Ireland despite Rishi Sunak’s refusal | Politics | News

Rishi Sunak is facing furious backlash this evening after it emerged the UK took back 50 migrants from Ireland just months before the PM insisted he was “not interested” in a returns deal with the country.

Amid a surge in migrants flooding from the UK to Ireland amid fears they might be deported to Rwanda, Irish Police stopped busses travelling from Belfast to Dublin in October and February.

Figures released today showed 25 illegal migrants were arrested in each of the two four-day operations, and resulted in the migrants being forcibly returned by ferry to Holyhead or by train to Belfast.

It also resulted in two migrants being charged with illegally facilitating entry into the UK.

The returns took place just weeks prior to Mr Sunak slapping down Ireland’s demands that Britain take back its illegal migrants, in a rare confident performance that sparked delight in Tory circles.

This evening the PM has been accused of performing yet another u-turn and making “a sellout too many”, with calls for him to stand aside as the number of letters from MPs .

In April Mr Sunak refused to consider any migrant returns agreement with Ireland, after their deputy Taoiseach claimed that over 80 percent of illegal migrants entering Ireland were coming from the UK.

The Government boldly used the row with the UK neighbour as proof that Rwanda deportations are already alleviating Britain’s migrant crisis.

Mr Sunak said he would not negotiate with the EU on the returns policy with Ireland, as Government sources said the proposal wouldn’t be considered until France finally caved in and allowed the UK to similarly force removals.

Asked about Ireland’s demands, Mr Sunak said: “I’m not interested in that.

“We’re not going to accept returns from the EU via Ireland when the EU doesn’t accept returns back to France where illegal migrants are coming from.

“Of course, we’re not gonna do that. I’m determined to get our Rwanda scheme up and running because I want a deterrent.”

Reacting to the revelation, this evening former Tory MEP and chairman of the Conservative Democratic Organisation told the Express that he is “at a loss” over the government’s concession to Ireland.

He fumed: “I’m just at a loss why we should be taking back these people when the Prime Minister made it clear only last week that they were not our responsibility.

“It amounts to yet another U turn and in conjunction with the Windsor Framework encroaching and surrendering powers in yet another area for Northern Ireland – human rights and immigration control – this is a sellout too many.

“Anyone with principle would step aside now. He is clinging on like a barnacle.”

Meanwhile, Reform UK leader Richard Tice blasted: “Incompetent Tories botch it again and bottle it, allowing themselves to be legged over by the Republic of Ireland”.

A Government spokesman said: “These people were stopped on their journey into Ireland. The UK and Ireland are both able to stop people entering their respective countries if they believe the traveller is abusing the Common Travel Area – as happened in this case.

“As the Prime Minister said, we have no plans for a returns agreement with Ireland for asylum seekers.”

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