Deportation flights to Rwanda to take off

The first flights deporting asylum seekers from the United Kingdom (UK) to Rwanda will take off in 10 to 12 weeks.

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak says the UK government has already prepared an airfield and secured charter plane slots to ensure flights take off.

“Of course that is later than we wanted but we have always been clear that processing will take time and if labour peers had not spent weeks holding up the bill in the House of Lords to try to block these flights altogether we would have begun this process weeks ago,” he says.

To smooth the approach to the first flights taking off, Sunak says the home office had been building extra space in the asylum process, which includes additional detention spaces, 200 case workers, 25 courtrooms with 150 judges to hear asylum cases, and solidifying rules around the European court of human rights injunction, making it difficult for the Strasbourg-based court to halt deportation flights.

Parliamentarian Andrew Mitchell says the regime in Rwanda has made a remarkable turnaround over the last 30 years after nearly being completely destroyed by the genocide.

“Kigali is arguably safer than London,” he says.

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