Rishi Sunak, under growing pressure, grapples with the UK’s contentious agreement to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, as President Paul Kagame suggests his country would be open to scrapping the deal.

Kagame, in an interview with The Guardian, emphasized that the migrant scheme is the UK’s concern and expressed frustration with the lack of progress, questioning, “What’s happened since then?” Legal challenges have stalled deportation flights, challenging Sunak’s government commitment to proceed.

Kagame’s comments indicate a potential strain on Rwanda’s patience as the impasse continues, posing an embarrassment for the Prime Minister, who presented the £120 million scheme as a crucial element in managing the Channel migrant crisis.

The government, facing criticism from human rights groups and political opponents, now appears to lack full support from Rwanda. Kagame’s intervention adds pressure to Home Secretary Suella Braverman, overseeing the policy, as the government struggles to fulfill its promise to “take back control” of borders.

Labor seizes the opportunity to criticize ministers for being “all talk but no action” on illegal migration. The Home Office races to demonstrate the viability of the Rwanda arrangement, facing doubts over its future. Kagame’s dissatisfaction undermines confidence in the migrant agreement, with sources indicating “acute concern” among Home Office officials.

The potential collapse of the flagship policy marks a public failure for Sunak. The government insists no other policy could deter migrants and traffickers at the same scale, while opponents argue for better use of financial resources to expand safe routes and address asylum decision backlogs.

As pressures mount, No.10 faces a challenging decision on whether to admit defeat on the flagship policy or deepen investment in an approach questioned by Rwanda. The coming weeks could be decisive for the government’s credibility on borders.

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