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The Independent

Rwanda flights on maintain whereas authorized motion continues – minister

Flights sending migrants to Rwanda might not happen till later this yr on the earliest amid ongoing authorized motion, MPs heard.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick mentioned the Government nonetheless hopes to restart flights “as quickly as potential”, nevertheless it was “proper” to attend till courtroom appeals have concluded.

His feedback, made as he confronted questions from the Commons Ladies and Equalities Committee on Wednesday, come as extra migrants arrived within the UK after crossing the Channel.

Teams of individuals carrying life jackets, and a few wrapped in blankets, had been pictured being introduced into Dover, Kent, on a Border Drive boat amid calm circumstances at sea.

Authorities figures present that thus far this yr 592 migrants have arrived within the UK after crossing the Channel, with exercise recorded on solely three days in January. That is in comparison with the 1,339 individuals who made the journey within the first month of 2022.

Requested when the Authorities hopes to restart flights to Rwanda, Mr Jenrick instructed MPs: “As quickly as potential. It clearly stays the Authorities’s coverage. We see it as a completely important manner of deterring folks from making the harmful crossing and altering the enterprise mannequin of the folks smugglers …”

Final month, Excessive Court docket judges dominated the coverage was lawful – however thus far efforts to launch it have been stalled by authorized motion.

Mr Jenrick mentioned an enchantment “will probably be heard later this yr”, including: “We stay up for defending the Authorities’s place as soon as once more as robustly as potential and hope, and count on, that we’ll have an analogous final result within the Court docket of Attraction.”

When requested to substantiate if the Authorities was ready for the enchantment to conclude earlier than any flights will begin once more, he replied: “Sure. It’s proper that we await to the end result of the British courts … then clearly the Authorities will determine the way to proceed as soon as we have now the ultimate judgment.”

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