The United Kingdom’s Labour Party, an alliance of social democrats and some MPs in the UK have reacted following Ghana’s rejection of a supposed planned partnership to establish processing hubs in the country for asylum seekers.
The supposed leaked plan by the UK Prime Minister, to disperse asylum seekers to countries including Rwanda, Albania and Ghana appears to have courted more angst towards the UK leader.
This move, as reported by some UK newspapers and media outlets, was part of a grand scheme by the UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to introduce a series of policy announcements designed to gain back public affection as well as the affection of some of his MPs, after raising eyebrows by organizing some parties in his courtyard, during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
Operation Dead Meat
These efforts termed as ‘Operation Red Meat’ have been termed as ‘Operation Dead Meat’ by many who believe the attempts by Boris are already failed.
One of such is to employ military assistance in the English Channel – under this, the US military will be in charge of preventing small boats from crossing illegally into the UK.
This will mean migrants who cross into the UK to seek asylum will be prevented and other countries will have to absorb them.
Under the military assistance in the English Channel policy, Boris reportedly intends to put the military in charge of preventing small boats from crossing illegally into the UK.
Ghana, through its foreign ministry on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, indicated that Ghana had been cited as one of the countries to receive asylum seekers from the UK.
In a statement, the government of Ghana, through the ministry indicated that this information it had learned from reports from some UK newspapers was false.
They denied having any links with the said operation – ‘Operation Dead Meat’, while strongly indicating that Ghana has nothing to do with any such operation.
“Ghana has not engaged with the UK on any such plan and does not intend to consider any such operation in the future,” a statement from the ministry said.
UK Labour Party reaction:
Following this, the UK’s Labour Party has reacted, describing the move as disrespectful to Ghana.
UK newspaper, Voice-online.co.uk reports that the Labour Party “blasted the Prime Minister for being “disrespectful to Ghana” after the west African state was forced to dismiss claims that they were in talks with the British government to take a UK refugee processing centre”.
Quoting Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, they reported that she called the move by Boris Johnson as ‘ridiculous’ whilst condemning them for ‘making things up to get headlines’ instead of tackling the issue of dangerous boat crossings tactically.
“Once again we find out that the Government has been making things up for the sake of headlines. Clearly, this was a desperate attempt to distract people from the Prime Minister’s mess, but this kind of behaviour from ministers is an embarrassment to our country and disrespectful to Ghana.
“Be it operation Big Dog or Red Meat or whatever schoolboy name they have for it now, it’s just ridiculous. Time and again the Home Office has been told that offshore processing is incredibly costly, impractical and damaging and it’s clear none of the countries they have approached have agreed.
“Yet instead of doing the serious hard work to tackle criminal gangs and prevent dangerous small boat crossings they just make things up to get headlines,” the voice-online.co.uk quoted Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper as having said.
MP, others react
Meanwhile, British politician and Member of Parliament for Birmingham has reacted to the development, describing operation ‘Red Meat’ as ‘a load of made-up crap that there’s no chance of achieving’.
Read her tweet below:
A Guardian columnist also called it an ‘offensive way of doing business’.
“God what an offensive way of doing business. Looking forward to Rwanda distancing itself…,” she wrote.
Read her tweet below:
Another journalist with the Insider based in the House of Commons Press Gallery in the UK Houses of Parliament also reacted.
See his tweet below:
Ghana’s first rejection
Ghana’s foreign ministry as part of efforts to debunk links with the said operation, cited a previous instance in 2021 where it had to refute another of such information.
“It is recalled in this regard that the Ministry on the 8th of September, 2021 debunked in a tweet, a news item on Sky News UK about a possible Ghana interest in a partnership agreement with the UK to host deported or returned migrants of Third countries from the UK.
“This position of the [Ghana] government has not changed and the ministry advises that any publication implies otherwise should be ignored,” the statement further added.
Find Ghana’s stance as posited by the foreign ministry in a press release: