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Published on 24 June 2022

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that sending people seeking asylum to Rwanda 'cannot carry the weight of our national responsibility as a country formed by Christian values'. He's right.

An intervention like this is rare, but his words reflected the shock felt right across the country - and a YouGov poll carried out hours later showed just 35 percent of Britain backs the plan.

At a time when the public is showing incredible generosity to the people of Ukraine, why is the Government retreating to an ideological mantra that has no truck with the UK proud of its history of providing sanctuary to those fleeing persecution and violence?

This is not the 'Global Britain' we were promised.

The Government is treating vulnerable people like criminals. Shipping them to a country with an authoritarian regime - and with questions to answer on its attitude to human rights - is inhumane.

Not only this, but it's impractical and would cost the taxpayer a ludicrous amount.

Indeed, trailing this scheme will cost £120 million. Israel has already abandoned a similar scheme, deeming it unworkable.

We must ask ourselves: will this move strike a blow to the human traffickers who prey on desperate people trying to cross the Channel, or just open an alternative route?

This scheme will do nothing to stop boat crossings or weaken these criminal gangs.

It's possible to manage the refugee response effectively - and to do so the Government must provide safe and legal routes for people seeking refuge to come to the UK.

It's right the Archbishop of Canterbury speaks out on urgent issues that are a moral stain on our conscience, including the climate emergency and cost-of-living crisis.

It's imperative we don't let the Government forget the lesson of treating others as you would want to be treated.

Together with Refugees

Christian Aid is a member of Together with Refugees. To support their opposition to the Government's Rwanda scheme visit their website.