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Andrew Mitchell’s plea for cooperation to stop the boats

NewsAndrew Mitchell’s plea for cooperation to stop the boats

Andrew Mitchell spoke to the Daily Express after the Supreme Court overruled the Government’s Rwanda deportation scheme which means its deterrent for illegal migrants has been blocked.

The development minister is to launch a White Paper on the plight of Africa on Monday.

With the war in Ukraine hitting grain supplies, starvation on the continent is set to get much worse and with it the mass movement of migrants to Europe and the UK.

Mr Mitchell said: “The great scourges we face at the moment – which are climate change, mass migration, pandemics, terrorism and protectionism – all require greater international cooperation, the result is so much better.”

Mr Mitchell warned that cooperation has “gone roaring backwards” after progress between 1990 and 2020 partly because of war in Ukraine and Israel/Gaza and the pandemic.

He said: “If you’re going to tackle those things you need, you need more international cooperation, and you need to change the system, as well, internationally.

“And that’s the White Paper, I think there’s a contribution to that, that thinking.”

The Government is also hosting a food security summit of experts and governments on Monday.

Mr Mitchell was instrumental in persuading the Tories to commit to 0.7% of GDP for international aid when they came to power in 2010. But he said the issue has moved on from money amid opposition on the Conservative backbenches to a return to the full 0.7%.

He said: “It’s not all about money. It’s about technical expertise, skill, research, artificial intelligence, all the many things that are really important.

“Although we are putting some taxpayers’ money on the table for the Food Summit it is not about money.

“It’s about British expertise. And how do you stop children starving to death in a world where there’s plenty of food?”

He described seeing children with malnutrition in hospitals in different African countries and said that no British voter wants that to happen.

Mr Mitchell also defended the appointment of Lord David Cameron to lead the Foreign Office, saying he has “huge experience and is respected all around the world”. He said the move was “a shaft of sunlight in a bleak period.”

He also urged colleagues on the right plotting after Suella Braverman’s sacking as Home Secretary and the reshuffle to back Rishi Sunak.

He said: “Speaking as a former chief whip, I think it’s incredibly important that we all get behind the Prime Minister who is tackling the things that the public wants us to tackle.

“The Conservative Party is a broad church but we all understand the importance of winning the next election and keeping the socialists out.

“That is what I believe is in Britain’s interest and we won’t do that unless we are clearly a united team bent on delivering the Prime Minister’s priorities.”

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