Emma Thompson Slams 'Callous' Government Over 'Eye-Wateringly Mad' Rwanda Scheme

"We’re exhibiting a callousness in government that I don’t think reflects the soul of this country and the nature of the people in this country."

Emma Thompson has hit out at the government over its “eye-wateringly mad and callous” Rwanda scheme.

Home secretary Priti Patel unveiled the plan in April, which will see anyone who arrived by so-called illegal means to the UK – particularly via the English Channel – flown one-way from the UK to the African country to start new lives there.

Emma, who has long spoken out on a number of political issues, was asked about the scheme in an interview with Sky News’ Beth Rigby on Thursday, where the British actor said it did not reflect the “soul of this country” and the people in it.

Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
picture alliance via Getty Images

“The real problem is our referral mechanisms are a mess and the Rwanda scheme is eye-waveringly mad and callous,” she said.

“We’re exhibiting a callousness in government that I don’t think reflects the soul of this country and the nature of the people in this country. I really don’t.”

Emma, who adopted son Tindyebwa Agaba when he was 16 after he fled Rwanda, continued: “I understand that a lot of refugees will be thinking, ‘all the Ukranians are white and this kind of welcome wasn’t given to Syrian refugees when the same sort of thing was happening in Aleppo’, and I understand that too. But at the same time, there’s been a huge compassionate opening of British people.

“People in this country have all wanted to help so much and been really severely prevented from doing so by government mechanisms and all sorts of internal difficulties with things like bank accounts and our civil society somehow not being helped to rise to the occasion.

“This is a very, very complex issue, but the movement of peoples, not only due to war but climate change, is going one of the biggest issues of our time, and certainly the 21st century. So we’d better start getting our minds round how people need to move and we will have to accept that.”

She added: “We can’t become fortresses and put up walls anymore, it’s not realistic.”

Watch the full Beth Rigby interview with Emma Thompson and Good Luck to You Leo Grande co-star Darryl McCormack below...

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