LONDON — Rwandan President Paul Kagame has suggested U.K. efforts to introduce an asylum deal with his country are taking too long to implement ahead of a crunch vote for Rishi Sunak on his flagship migration policy.
“There are limits for how long this can drag on,” Kagame told journalists on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Kagame’s government signed an asylum deal with the U.K. government — which would see asylum seekers permanently sent to Rwanda from Britain — back in April 2022, but no migrants have successfully been sent there yet.
In an effort to bypass legal challenges and a Supreme Court ruling that the scheme is unlawful, Sunak has introduced emergency legislation. A key vote on the draft law will take place on Wednesday night amid a rebellion from Conservative MPs worried it doesn’t go far enough.
Asked by journalists if he was following the debate in London, Kagame was blunt. “It is the U.K.’s problem, not ours,” he said.
Kagame’s government has so far received about £240 million from the U.K. government as part of the deal, with a further payment of £50 million scheduled for the next financial year. But Kagame suggested this could be returned if Sunak fails to get the scheme off the ground.
“The money is going to be used on those people who will come,” Kagame said. “If they don’t come, we can return the money.”