Rwanda deportation policy still planned to go ahead says MP
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Speaking to TalkTV, Guy Opperman MP, the pensions minister, told Julia Hartley-Brewer that the ECHR ruling would not prevent further flights to Rwanda and merely stated the UK Government needed to “consider individual cases in a bit more detail”. Mr Opperman said he believed this consideration would be made and that, subsequently, at least some of the migrants earmarked for deportation to Rwanda would be “legally and safely transported” in the near future.
“I don’t believe the ECHR decision is terminal to this project or this particular policy.
“What it has said, in effect, as I understand it, is that the UK Government and their courts have to consider these individual cases in a bit more detail.
“And until that takes place, they cannot fly. Once the consideration has been made, I believe that the next flight will go.
“And that some of the people who have been identified for deportation in this particular way will be legally and safely transported to Rwanda.”
However, Britain’s Government is unable to give a fixed date for when it will first be able to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, deputy prime minister and justice secretary Dominic Raab said this morning.
Britain’s initial attempt to deport asylum seekers – part of a policy designed to deter dangerous sea crossings of the English Channel – was temporarily thwarted on Tuesday by an injunction from the ECHR.
When asked this morning when the first migrants will be deported to Rwanda, Mr Raab said: “I don’t think I can give a precise date.”
“The important thing to understand is that this ongoing legal challenge has been around the injunctions. There is a full hearing due in a few weeks and all the issues can be aired there.”
The first flight to Rwanda carrying economic migrants who had attempted to enter the UK illegally was grounded on Tuesday night after several appeals.
An Iraqi migrant, hours before he was supposed to be taking off, contacted a judge in Strasbourg.
He received a successful appeal letter by 6.25pm that day and within four and half hours, several other migrants on board with him had also successfully reached out to judges.
The privately-chartered Boeing 767 flight due to leave from Boscombe Down military base in Wiltshire was then grounded.
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Addressing the Commons yesterday following Prime Minister’s Questions, home secretary Priti Patel said “preparations for our future flights … have already begun”.
Ms Patel said: “We believe that we are fully compliant with our domestic and international obligations, and preparations for our future flights and the next flights have already begun.”
“We will not stand idly by and let organised crime gangs, who are despicable in their nature and their conduct, evil people, treat human beings as cargo.”
She added that she “will not accept that we have no right to control our borders”, before saying: “We will not be deterred from doing the right thing.”
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