The first flight of illegal migrants scheduled to be transferred from the UK to Rwanda has been postponed as part of the Johnson government’s controversial deal with Kigali to bring some “illegal immigrants” back to the African country and for a response to wait for their asylum applications on the island. The flight, which was due to depart last night, with only 7 remaining immigrant contingents on the Home Office’s original list, has been halted on a suspension granted by the European Court of Human Rights in the face of last-minute appeals. Suspensive, the British judges had denied.
The first migrant flight from the UK to Rwanda has been suspended: the plane is blocked on the runway
According to estimates by the British Home Office itself, the flight would have cost £500,000, including taking in the displaced people in the African country. The decision comes as a blow to Boris Johnson and his Home Secretary Priti Patel, who had hoped to discourage asylum seekers from crossing the Channel by arranging to send thousands of irregular migrants into Rwanda. Executive ministers promise that the expulsion program to Rwanda will resume soon, but it is not known when.
The British government’s plan has sparked controversy domestically, but Boris Johnson has always defended it, despite strong opposition from the Church of England, for example. The Archbishop of Canterbury called it “immoral” and “abnormal” and on the contrary urged the government to provide safe corridors for migrants in the English Channel and asylum seekers. Even heir to the throne, Prince Charles, would have described the British executive’s policy as “shocking”, according to rumors in the newspapers that received his private calls.