Deportation flights to Rwanda ‘could start as soon as this summer’

Suella Braverman is visiting Kigali in Rwanda where thousands of asylum seekers could be sent next year (Image: REUTERS)

It has been reported that deportation flights to Rwanda from the UK for asylum seekers could start as early as this summer.

Suella Braverman signed an update to the government’s migration agreement this week while visiting the central African country where thousands of people could fly next year.

The deal is said to extend its scope to “all categories of people passing through safe countries and taking illegal and dangerous journeys to the UK,” according to Sky News.

A Home Office statement said it would allow the government to comply with its new Illegal Migration Bill as it would mean that those who come to the UK illegally, who “cannot be returned to their country of origin”, will be “in chances of being relocated to Rwanda”. ‘.

British Immigration officers work as a plane carrying migrants deported from England unloads at the Tirana Mother Teresa International Airport, in Tirana, Albania, December 22, 2022. REUTERS/Florion Goga

Last year a flight to Rwanda was stopped at the last minute (Image: REUTERS)

Britain's Home Secretary Suella Braverman walks with Paul Rwigamba, Director of Projects and Property Management, and Flora Uwayezu of Project Sales of the Century Real Estate group, during a tour in Kigali Rwanda, on March 18, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer

It comes as the new Illegal Migration Bill was recently introduced (Image: REUTERS)

Britain's Home Secretary Suella Braverman stands on the balcony of one of the houses in the Bwiza Riverside Homes village in Mount Kigali, Kigali Rwanda, March 18, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer

Ms Braverman has plans to send thousands of asylum seekers to Rwanda in the next 12 months (Image: REUTERS)

The Home Secretary hailed the strengthening of the UK’s migration partnership when she visited the capital Kigali, where she met Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and the country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr Vincent Biruta .

The UK government plans to send tens of thousands of migrants over 4,000 miles away to Rwanda as part of a £120m deal agreed with Rwanda last year.

No one has made the trip yet, and one flight was stopped at the last minute last year after an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Cabinet minister Oliver Dowden said today the government wanted to “get down to business” with sending migrants on the outbound journey.

The chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “The reason we have not been able to proceed with Rwanda is because it is currently before the courts.”

“In fact, we were successful at the High Court stage, it is before the Court of Appeal.

“But as soon as that process is over, and I’m sure our policy is legal, we’ll get down to business with the Rwanda policy and use it as a tool in our arsenal.”

Asked about the possibility of children being covered by the new immigration regime, Mr Dowden said: “I don’t like any of this and I really wish we didn’t have to, and the Government is not rushing to do this”. .

“The government is doing this because it is a major problem.”

On Saturday, Ms. Braverman and Dr. Biruta signed the updated MoU, further expanding the partnership.

Highlighting the steps the government is taking, Ms Braverman said: ‘What the bill does is dramatically and significantly reduce the legal routes available – the claims available to people to thwart their removal or relocation from the UK.

To delay his arrest. To undermine our rules. And what we’re seeing right now is people using modern slavery claims, asylum claims, human rights laws… just to thwart our duty to control our borders.’

He continued: “Our bill fixes that, and we’ve struck the right balance between justice, on the one hand, to provide a strong system of legal duties and powers to stop and expel, and compassion, so we’re relocating the people in a safe country.

“And as we’ve seen here in Rwanda, there are abundant resources to support and properly accommodate people so they can live safe lives.”

During her visit to Rwanda, the Interior Minister spent time meeting with refugees who had settled in the country.

Britain's Home Secretary Suella Braverman listens to Freddy Mutanguha, CEO of the Aegis Trust and director of the Kigali Genocide Memorial during her visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Gisozi, Kigali, Rwanda, March 18, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer

The Home Secretary listens to Freddy Mutanguha, CEO of the Aegis Trust and director of the Kigali Genocide Memorial during her visit (Image: REUTERS)

He also toured the newly built housing and accommodation units, which will be used to house people relocated to Rwanda.

A refugee living in Rwanda, Fesseha Teame, told reporters that he had “never felt like I was considered a foreigner” but did not see the African nation as having the capacity to host “many thousands” of migrants.

The 48-year-old, with a wife and four children, spoke to the media after the interior minister said: “Rwanda has the capacity to resettle many thousands of people and can provide accommodation quickly once flights start. “.

Ms Braverman also said that the suggestion that Rwanda could only host 200 people is a “completely false narrative spread by critics who want to cancel the deal”.

The quoted figure was used by Rwandan government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo when speaking to British journalists last year.

Earlier this month, the prime minister announced a package that will include the establishment of a new detention center in France, as well as the deployment of more French staff and improved technology to patrol beaches in a shared effort to reduce illegal immigration.

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