Migration policy to ‘close all the loopholes’ as staff work towards deportation flights ‘until summer’ | UK news

A government source confirmed to Sky News that their new Illegal Migration Bill would “seal all the loopholes” and that UK authorities are “certainly working to cancel flights by summer”.

The Home Secretary signed an update to the government’s migrant agreement with Rwanda, expanding its scope to “all categories of people passing through safe countries and making illegal and dangerous journeys to the UK”.

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

The new bill provides that those who come to the UK will be detained and returned to their home country – or a “safe third country like Rwanda”.

Suella Braverman praised the strengthening of the UK’s migration partnership with Rwanda as he visited Kigali in Rwanda for official engagements this weekend – including a meeting with Rwandan 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 more than 4,000 miles away to Rwanda as part of a £120m deal struck with Rwanda last year.

No one has made the trip yet, after a flight was interrupted at the end of June last year, following an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

On Saturday, Mrs. Braverman and Dr. Biruta signed the updated Memorandum of Understanding, further expanding the partnership.

Suella Braverman (centre) visits a construction site outside Kigali during her visit to Rwanda

Rwanda has ‘abundant resources’

Speaking to the media on Saturday, Ms. Braverman said: “What the bill does is drastically and significantly reduce the available legal avenues – the claims available to people to prevent their removal or relocation from the UK.

“To delay your 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.”

She continued: “Our bill corrects this and we have struck the right balance between justice on the one hand to provide a robust system of legal duties and powers to detain and remove, and compassion – so that we are relocating people to a country safe.

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

The Home Secretary visits a new training academy under construction in Kigali during her visit to Rwanda
The Home Secretary visits a new training academy under construction in Kigali during her visit to Rwanda

Braverman visits possible housing for migrants

On his visit to Rwanda, the Home Secretary spent time meeting with refugeeswho received support from the country’s government to rebuild their lives.

She also toured new housing developments, which will be used to resettle people, and visited new, modern, long-term accommodation that will support those relocating in Rwanda.

A refugee living in Rwanda, Fesseha Teame, told reporters on Saturday he “never felt he was considered a foreigner” but said he didn’t see the African nation as capable of receiving “many thousands” of migrants.

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

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

The quoted figure of 200 was used by Rwandan government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo when speaking to British journalists last year.

Suella Braverman visits a newly built house with the Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, Claudette Irere, in Rwanda
Suella Braverman visits a newly built house with the Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, Claudette Irere, in Rwanda

See more information:
Asylum seekers are going underground in fear of being deported to Rwanda
Is the government’s new Illegal Migration Law legal?

Mrs. Braverman met with investment start-ups as well as entrepreneurs to discuss the range of business opportunities and jobs available to people in Rwanda.

Earlier this month, the Prime Minister announced a package that will include a new detention center established in France, as well as the deployment of more French personnel and improved technology to patrol the beaches in a shared effort to curb illegal migration.

Throughout 2022, some 45,728 people crossed into the UK via Canal – an increase of 60% over the previous year.

Mrs. Braverman said she was visiting Rwanda this weekend to “reinforce the government’s commitment to partnership as part of our plan to stop the boats and discuss plans to operationalize our agreement soon.”

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