Africa We Want

Rishi Sunak takes ’extraordinary’ step in bid to finally get Rwanda flights off .

The Prime Minister has created a new committee which is meeting twice a week. Rishi Sunak has set up a Covid-style Cabinet committee in a bid to finally get Rwanda flights off the tarmac. By Katie Harris

Rishi Sunak gives update on « stop » the boats’ pledge

The Prime Minister is said to want the scheme to « hit the ground running » with the first flight within days of legal hurdles being cleared.

The committee - which has been in place for a month - is meeting twice a week to ensure deportation flights can begin as soon as the Illegal Migration clears Parliament, expected in September.

A Cabinet source described the preparations for the first flight as « extraordinary ».

The insider told the Daily Mail: « No stone is being left unturned to make sure this goes smoothly.

« There is really no precedent for a Prime Minister to lead a committee of this sort on the implementation of a Bill has that has not even passed.

« That legislation will effectively ban Channel crossings. The expectation is it will pass in September and you will see flights beginning within days. »

The Court of Appeal is expected to rule on the legality of the Rwanda policy in the next couple of weeks, after the High Court previously deemed the scheme lawful.

Ministers are said to be increasingly hopeful the Government will win the challenge by human rights groups and unions.

But there are fears campaigners could appeal to the Supreme Court which could lead to further delays.

The first flight to Rwanda last year was blocked at the 11th hour by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

It comes as the Illegal Migration Bill - a key part of the Prime Minister’s bid to deter people from crossing the Channel in small boats - is currently going through Parliament.

The flagship legislation aims to ensure those who arrive in the UK without permission will be detained and promptly removed, either to their home country or a third country such as Rwanda.

The Bill has cleared the Commons but is facing stiff opposition in the House of Lords.

Mr Sunak has staked his premiership on stopping small boats with the issue as one of his top five priorities.

During a visit to Dover earlier this week, he insisted his plan is « starting to work ».

The PM said: « Before I launched my plan in December, the number entering the UK illegally in small boats had more than quadrupled in two years.

« Some said this problem was insoluble, or just a fact of 21st-century life. They’d lost faith in politicians to put in the hard yards to do something about it.

« And of course, we still have a long way to go. But in the five months, since I launched the plan, crossings are now down 20 percent compared to last year. »

Author: MANZI


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