Marion Maréchal, head of the hard-right Reconquête list for the 2024 European elections, defends what she calls "remigration" aligning herself with Rishi Sunak's Safety to Rwanda Act.(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)


UK Rwanda deportation law appeals to the Right across Europe


Marion Maréchal, head of the hard-right Reconquête list for the 2024 European elections, has defended both Rishi Sunak’s Safety to Rwanda Act and what she calls “remigration”.

The French hard-right politician outlined her party’s stance on immigration, and emphasised her support for expelling illegal immigrants, during France’s first European elections debate on May 5th.

“I’m in favour of the expulsion of all illegal immigrants in particular criminals, delinquents, and long-term unemployed foreigners,” she said.

“Are you in favour of what Great Britain is doing today, ie, sending foreigners of all nationalities back to Rwanda?” asked a French journalist during the debate.

“Yes, that’s for sure,” she replied.

“I’m even against the principle of regularising all people who arrive illegally on French soil,” she added.

The Safety to Rwanda Act was a “landmark moment in our [UK] plan to stop the boats”, claimed UK home secretary James Cleverly.

This law aiming at deterring irregular migrations has found supporters not only within the French hard-right Reconquête but also among several other European countries.

The Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, and Baltic countries jointly drafted a letter to the European Commission calling for migrants who have not been granted asylum in the EU to be taken to a third country where they would remain until they could be deported, said a Czech newspaper.

The immigration letter plan signed by the EU member states also calls for migrants attempting to reach the EU to be transferred to selected third countries before reaching EU shores.

On the other side, European Liberals and Socialists have expressed doubts and scepticism about the UK’s Rwanda asylum plan and its would-be imitators.

French President Emanuel Macron publicly criticised the Rwanda deportation bill during his recent Europe speech at Sorbonne University.

“This is a betrayal of our values and will lead us down the path of new dependencies on third countries,” Macron said.

And in Ireland, Lisa Chambers, leader of the Seanad (upper house),  described the UK’s deportation plan as “morally wrong”.