Migrant flights to Rwanda ‘by this summer’

Mrs Braverman said: “We are working to make this happen as soon as possible. There is every possibility that we can move quickly if we get a good line of judgment in our favour.”

She added: “What’s been great about the visit is that we are talking about operationalizing our migration Economic and Development Partnership and I think that Rwanda is clearly ready.”

The Court of Appeal will next month hear a challenge against the Rwanda policy before passing judgment in June. If it goes in the Government’s favor and backs the original High Court ruling, ministers expect to press ahead with flights immediately.

If it goes up to the Supreme Court, it is understood they will consider whether to start deporting migrants with a commitment to return them to the UK if the judgment eventually goes against them.

“We are certainly working towards getting the flights off by the summer,” said a government source.

Mrs Braverman said the Illegal Migration Bill, due to return to Commons next week, would also include “some measures” to counter Strasbourg judges using last-minute injunctions to block flights, as happened last June with the first scheduled Rwanda flight.

Asked if the UK would leave the ECHR if European judges blocked the new legislation, she said: “Nothing is off the table ultimately.”

However, she said: “I’m confident the Rwanda partnership was authoritatively upheld by the High Court in a very extensive judgment, a very rigorous analysis by senior judges.

“Our partnership was found to be lawful, and compliant with human rights laws, the refugee convention and international obligations. I take a lot of confidence from that ruling.”

‘Beautiful, high quality’ new homes

Rwanda has begun building some 40,000 permanent homes, a portion of which have been earmarked for migrants removed from the UK. It has also trained immigration officers to handle their asylum claims as part of the UK’s £140 million funding package. They are said to be “champing at the bit” to begin work.

The Home Secretary confirmed that Britain is in “constructive dialogue” with countries “around the world” for similar schemes, but indicated Rwanda alone could stop the boats.

“The capacity for Rwanda is in the region of thousands. We believe that that is enough to deal with the challenge we’re facing in the UK,” she said.

On Saturday, Mrs Braverman visited one of the first “towns” being built to permanently house asylum seekers from the UK after they move from initial hostel or hotel accommodation.

The estate of 2,500 two and three-bedroom houses in Kigali offers affordable housing at between £14,000 and £30,000 – some of which are to be earmarked for UK asylum seekers, with the remainder sold to Rwandan civil servants, teachers and health workers.

Once they get a job, they could exercise the right to buy the homes.

Mrs Braverman said: “These houses are really beautiful, high quality, welcoming and I quite like your interior designer. I need some advice myself.”


Related Posts

George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *