Rwanda will be able to take in ‘thousands’ of migrants once removal flights begin, Suella Braverman claims as she hits back at ‘critics who want to scrap the deal’
- Interior minister will arrive in Kigali to ‘strengthen commitment to asylum deal’
Rwanda will be able to take in “thousands” of migrants once removal flights begin, Suella Braverman said last night.
The Home Secretary, who arrives in Kigali today to “reinforce commitment to the asylum deal,” attacked Labor and other critics who claim the plan can only take in a few hundred Channel migrants.
The Rwandan government will be able to start using large numbers of beds once relocation flights from the UK are cleared to take off, Ms Braverman said. She also described Rwanda as “one of the safest countries in the world” ahead of a series of top-level meetings to discuss the next phases of the plan.
She added: “The suggestion that Rwanda can only take in 200 people is a completely false narrative spread by critics who want the deal scrapped.
“Rwanda has the capacity to house tens of thousands of people and can handle this quickly once the flights start.”
Suella Braverman said last night that Rwanda could take in “thousands” of migrants once removal flights begin
Her comments on the scope of the plan come after a debate in the Commons on Monday, when Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper claimed: “Rwandan authorities say they are taking in a few hundred people at most.”
During this weekend’s trip to the East African country, Ms Braverman will visit new accommodation sites being built by the Rwandan government to house migrants who will be sent from Britain.
Under the terms of the agreement signed last April, migrants will be given a one-way ticket to Rwanda and will seek asylum there instead of in the UK.
The inaugural relocation flight of the Ministry of the Interior to Rwanda was halted at 11 a.m. in June by the European Court of Human Rights. The scheme has since been stalled by legal challenges, but was declared legal by Supreme Court judges in December. Appeal hearings will take place in the coming weeks.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak predicted removal flights could begin by the summer, saying he was confident the plan would clear legal hurdles in the coming months.
During her trip, the interior minister will meet Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a former army officer who has been in power since 2000.
“We will discuss all aspects of the partnership, not only deterring illegal and dangerous travel to the UK, but also ensuring that those who really need protection are supported to start a new life on their own.” to build in Rwanda,” said Ms. Braverman.
The UK government has asked the European Court of Human Rights to stop using “deeply deficient” powers to block the inaugural flight to Rwanda. If Strasbourg fails to agree, ministers will change UK law so they can override the European Court’s attempts to intervene, the new illegal migration law says.
It came as at least 100 migrants reached the UK by small boat across the Channel yesterday. So far, 3,198 migrants have crossed from northern France since the beginning of the year.