UK government officials are said to be working towards getting the controversial Rwanda deportation flights up and running “by the summer”. The news comes during a visit to the African nation by home secretary Suella Braverman.
Ms Braverman is in Rwanda to sign an extension on the agreement already in place. This extension will be to "all categories of people who pass through safe countries and make illegal and dangerous journeys to the UK".
Government plans are to send thousands of people to Rwanda in the next 12 months. It is expected this will cost around £120 million, but the project has been riddled with delays.
As of yet, no one has made the journey. The most famous case of this was when a flight bound for Rwanda was cancelled at the last minute due to an appeal from the European Court of Human Rights.
Cabinet ministers have spoken in recent days about how keen they are to get on with the one way flights. Oliver Dowden, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said the government wanted to “get cracking” on the flights.
During the visit to Rwanda this weekend, Ms Braverman said she was pleased to strengthen the agreement the two nations had in place. She said: “We cannot continue to see people risking their lives crossing the Channel, which is why I am pleased to strengthen our agreement even further with the government of Rwanda so we can address the global migration crisis head on.
“The Migration and Economic Development Partnership is key to breaking the business model of people smugglers while ensuring those who genuinely need protection can be helped to rebuild their lives.”
The Rwanda partnership is, according to the government, just “one strand” of the work being carried out to stop illegal migration. They cited last week’s visit of prime minister Rishi Sunak to France to agree a package which will see a new detention centre established.