Almost £50m spent by the EU on Rwanda migrant flights since 2019 — and the programme continues.

Graham Charles Lear
8 min readDec 27, 2022

Last year I gave a sneak peek at what the EU was up to just after the European Court of Human Rights stopped the UK flights to Rwanda

Today I come back to the topic to show you that their hypocrisy is even worse than we all thought.

The EU has been funding the UN to fly illegal migrants to Rwanda for years and continues to do just that.

With the United Kingdom Government — and Home Secretaries Priti Patel and Suella Braverman in particular — being criticised all year for the plan to fly illegal migrants to Rwanda for processing, it transpires that the EU has been funding such flights for the last five years.

The EU-funded United Nations flights started to Niger in 2017 and then to Rwanda in 2019. This programme has now been extended until 2023. YES, the same country that the European Court of Human Rights stopped the UK from flying OUR illegal immigrants to last YEAR.

According to both the UN and the EU, Rwanda is a perfectly safe country to house and process illegal migrants (called “refugees” by the UN and EU). The hypocrisy of the open borders globalists and human rights lawyers from the EU, the UN, and the UK knows no bounds.

This is what the EU and the UN have been doing

Over 5,000 migrants have been flown by the UN, using EU funds, to Rwanda and Niger

So far, 3,889 to Niger and 1,279 to Rwanda

So far the United Kingdom hasn’t been able to send a single illegal migrant to Rwanda, thanks to the ECHR

The majority of migrants (67%) were from Niger, Egypt, Sudan and Chad

The EU part-funded this using its ‘Emergency Trust Fund for Africa’

EU funding so far amounts to €55.3m (approx £48m)

The latest EU extension covers the period up until the end of next year (2023)

[Sources: UNHCR, EU Commission, African Union.]

The EU’s funding of these flights

It is the EU that is funding this operation, at least in part, using money from its ‘Emergency Trust Fund for Africa’. This is an “off-the-books” EU fund which is not part of the officially-declared EU budget. The UK paid into this fund (c.£600m) when it was a member although this was never included by HM Treasury as part of the UK’s net contributions to the EU budget.

In November 2019 on a visit to Rwanda, the EU’s Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, announced a further €10.3 million grant for the UNHCR’s Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) in the country, to provide accommodation for migrants.

It's marvellous what you can find out when you put your mind to it, isn't it?

According to a UNHCR report that I have accessed this brings the EU’s total so far to €55.3 million.

This Rwanda initiative is built on the example of the earlier ETM grant for Niger, through which almost 3,900 asylum seekers have been sent from Libya starting in 2017.

Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner, in 2019

“This project will support efforts of the Government of Rwanda to receive and provide protection to about 1,500 refugees and asylum-seekers who are currently being held in detention centres in Libya. Such a remarkable and powerful proof of African solidarity should be further encouraged, replicated and supported.”

- Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Development and Cooperation, speaking on 19 November 2019

Now would you like to see what Gillian Triggs, Assistant Secretary-General at the UNHCR, said about our UK efforts to send OURs to Rwanda?

Well Triggs, described the UK-Rwanda agreement as “unacceptable” and a “troubling development”.

This might strike some readers as surprising, given the UN’s actions and their funding by the EU Commission. I would imagine you will say what Hypocrisy both the EU and the UN are showing.

The EU’s support continues — Nov 2022

As recently as 01 November this year (2022), members of the EU’s task force met with UNHCR and African Union representatives to discuss the continuation of this programme.

This meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was a follow-up to the Declaration of the AU-EU Summit, held from 17–18 February 2022, which committed to revitalising the work of the tripartite task force.

The Danish government has backed the UK’s decision

In April, Denmark’s immigration minister backed the British Government’s new policy of using a third country to house illegal immigrants.

Danish Immigration Minister, Matthias Tesfaye

“I share the view of the Rwandan and British governments that the current asylum system is unsustainable.”

- Danish Immigration Minister, Mattias Tesfaye, speaking to the BBC, 14 Apr 2022

In August last year, he was even more forthright about Denmark’s own policies regarding illegal migrants. He said the following about migrants in Denmark:

“My dream is zero asylum seekers in Denmark, I believe that the existing European asylum system cannot be defended either morally or politically.

“The asylum system is used for migration to an extent that our welfare society cannot absorb, and that challenges cohesion in Denmark. That is why we have to get asylum immigration under control.

“We want to get rid of all expenses for the asylum system with lawyers, accommodation, interpreters, and travel home for those who have had their application rejected.”

- Danish Immigration Minister, Mattias Tesfaye, quoted in Swedish journal, Bulletin, 25 Aug 2021

What do other countries do?

DENMARK’s left-of-centre Social Democrat Government passed a law last year allowing it to move asylum seekers to a country outside the EU for processing. It then entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Rwandan Government for cooperation on the issue but has yet to announce anything specific coming out of that agreement.

Last year Denmark also began to revoke the residence permits of hundreds of Syrians, arguing it was now safe for them to return.

ISRAEL announced a scheme back in 2015 that involves deals with third-country “safe havens” that are believed to be Uganda and Rwanda — although the exact countries involved have not been confirmed by the Israeli Government. Illegal immigrants are given the choice of accepting a payment of $3,500 and a plane ticket to one of the third countries, or returning to their country of origin or being put in jail if they stay in Israel.

AUSTRALIA started using offshore detention centres in 2001, but in 2013 it toughened its immigration law by denying resettlement visas to asylum seekers arriving by boat. Australia’s Border Force reports more than 4,000 asylum seekers were relocated between 2012 and 2019.

Double standards and EU hypocrisy

There are of course differences between the UK Government’s plans and the scheme in operation by the UN, funded by the EU. The Rwanda and Niger flights are from Libya, not an EU country. Nevertheless, they are in response to the large numbers of illegal boat migrants crossing from North Africa to the EU. And these flights prove beyond any doubt that both the UN and the EU consider Rwanda to be a safe country in which to house and process asylum seekers, and it also considers that NO Internationale law has been broken.

It must be remembered that Italy — an EU member country — is continuing to experience a vast number of illegal boat migrants crossing from Libya. The EU’s funding of flights of migrants from Libya to Rwanda and Niger is part of its response.

Four years ago there were fewer than 300 illegal migrants arriving in Britain by boat. This year so far 45,000 have arrived. Something has to be done, as the UK Government's payments to France to stop them from setting off from their shores and apprehending the human traffickers have not prevented the migrant numbers from increasing. Nor has it prevented the appalling deaths at sea.

This is a French and EU problem — and in the UK this is not about race

In all the outrage expressed by people such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, one essential fact is missing. The tens of thousands of illegal migrants are coming from France — a safe country. In order to reach France, illegal migrants have to enter the EU and then cross internal borders. Some travel through Spain, and many come up through Greece and Italy. All of these countries are safe havens for genuine refugees.

The British Prime Minister is a person of colour, as is the Home Secretary, the Foreign Secretary, the previous Home Secretary, the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer, and many Ministers. The Danish Immigration Minister I have quoted is a man of colour. There is nothing racist about the debate on the illegal migrant crisis, no matter how much Rejoiners and charities Lawyers like to pretend it is.

The Rwanda deterrent

The concept of moving the predominantly young, single, male ‘boat people’ to Rwanda is a technical solution that might offer some success at stopping the traffickers. It means the illegal immigrants can at last be deported even if they have destroyed their identity documents. Without identity documents, it is practically impossible to get the countries of origin to accept the illegal immigrants are theirs.

It worked for Australia, why not for the UK?

Typically the scheme has come in for a great deal of criticism and yet it enjoys popular support from the public — 47% for versus 26% against, according to a Savanta Com Res poll.

It remains to be seen whether it will work but no one else seems to have any workable and legal ideas. Simply turning inflatable craft around risks more fatalities as well as an international incident and possible national humiliation.

In the main, the most vociferous critics are believers of completely open borders and should be disregarded as an extreme minority. Then we have the lawyers who have benefited hugely from the public purse. Once the “refugees” see they are spending money on a one-way ticket to Rwanda, the traffickers may have a problem selling seats on their boats.

Only time will tell — if the whole enterprise isn’t scuppered by our courts and the EU’s Convention on Human Rights, of course… and I say this to the Government if the EU can fund the UN to send refugees to Rwanda WHY is the European Court of Human Rights stopping us from doing the same?

There is only one answer to that question. IT IS because the EU is lobbying both the UN and the EU’s Convention on Human Rights court to punish the UK for having the audacity to leave the EU. It's as clear as the nose on my face as to what they are up to, and Westminster should ignore the EU and the European Court of Human Rights and begin to fly them out, then show the whole world what utterly contemptible bastards both the EU and the UN are and demand the instant resignation or sacking if she does not resign of Gillian Triggs, Assistant Secretary-General at the UNHCR.

Sources: EU Commission | UNHCR ]

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.