Rishi Sunak’s ‘Stop the Boats’ plan praised by far-right figures in Europe

Far-right figures throughout Europe have praised the PMs plan to ban refugees from entering the UK (Picture: PA)

Rishi Sunak’s plans to permanently bar asylum seekers who arrive in the UK on unauthorised small boats have been winning praise from far-right figures in Europe.

Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini hailed the measures as ‘harsh but fair’, while French former presidential candidate Eric Zemmour congratulated Mr Sunak for his stance.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman unveiled new legislation this week that is key to the Prime Minister’s priority of ‘stopping the boats’ crossing the Channel.

Under the proposed new rules, refugees entering the UK will be permanently banned from claiming asylum or returning to the country once expelled.

The prime minister also said those attempting to illegally enter the country will not be protected by the UK’s modern slavery laws and would be deported to ‘a safe third country like Rwanda’ at the earliest convenience.

‘Once you are removed, you will be banned- as you are in America and Australia- from ever re-entering our country,’ he added.

The UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, said it was ‘profoundly concerned’ by the plans and said they would amount to an ‘asylum ban’.

But Mr Sunak’s announcement has been celebrated by the far-right.

Mr Salvini, who serves in Italy’s first far-right led government since the end of the Second World War, shared an image of Mr Sunak accompanied by details of his policy online.

‘Prime Minister of the UK. Harsh but fair,’ the leader of the anti-immigrant League party captioned it on Instagram.

Salvini’s comments come after at least 72 people, including children, perished at sea after a small boat carrying migrants hit some rocks off Italy’s southern coast.

Le message est clair. Au Royaume-Uni, les clandestins ne sont pas les bienvenus et n’auront aucun traitement de faveur.

Bravo au Premier ministre britannique qui, contrairement au Gouvernement de Macron, fait le choix de protéger son peuple contre la submersion migratoire. https://t.co/VfAWW1Q1EX

— Eric Zemmour (@ZemmourEric) March 8, 2023

In France, Mr Zemmour, a former TV pundit whose failed bid for the French presidency was based entirely on migration, shared Mr Sunak’s policy and said the ‘message is clear’.

Mr Zemmour, who has falsely claimed that Adolf Hitler’s Vichy collaborators protected France’s Jews, said: ‘In the UK, illegal immigrants are not welcome and will get no preferential treatment.

‘Congratulations to the British Prime Minister who, unlike Macron’s government, is choosing to protect his people from the flood of migration.’

Mr Sunak will meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Friday and urge him to ‘go further’ in his efforts to stop migrant boats leaving French shores.

‘Certainly we are going in there with an ambition to go further on stopping the boats making these dangerous crossings,’ the PM’s spokesman told reporters this week.

Meanwhile, Labour has accused the Government of ‘ramping up the rhetoric on refugees’ with what it argues will be an ineffective ‘con’.

The SNP’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn suggested Mr Sunak was taking inspiration from either prominent Brexiteer Nigel Farage or Enoch Powell, who was best known for his infamous ‘rivers of blood’ speech that was widely blamed for heightening racial tensions in the 1960s.

Sunak said people attempting to illegally enter the UK would be shipped to Rwanda and banned from ever entering the country again (Picture: PA)

Ms Braverman, while conceding the plans may fall foul of human rights laws, has said failing to tackle the ‘waves of illegal migrants’ would ‘betray’ voters.

This week saw her become embroiled in a row with BBC sports pundit Gary Lineker, after he described the policy as ‘cruel’ and criticised the language surrounding it as ‘not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s’.

To become law, the plans must first be approved by Parliament, which the Home secretary hopes to accomplish before the end of the year.

Enver Solomon, head of the Refugee Council, said the plans would ‘add more cost and chaos to the system’.

He added: ‘It’s unworkable, costly and won’t stop the boats.’

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