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Government schedule new flight to Rwanda after cancellation

The flight to Rwanda deporting refugees and asylum seekers who has entered the UK via the channel was brought to a stop yesterday, just minutes before it was due to take off.

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Flight halted at the last minute

The government has said today that plans are under way to schedule a new flight to Rwanda after the proposed deportation flight was cancelled minutes before taking off yesterday evening. A new challenge in the UK courts from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) brought proceedings to temporary halt.

The Rwanda scheme was implemented by officials earlier this year in April with the plan of deporting asylum seekers who cross the channel into the UK to Rwanda on a one-way flight, to seek asylum there instead.

Government bodies hoped that the scheme would deter other asylum seekers from crossing the channel into the country, but the plan saw outrage from protesters.

New judgement from the European Court of Human Rights

The flight was due to take off at 22:30 on Tuesday 14th June 2022 from an airport in Wiltshire, but a judgment from ECHR stopped the deportation in its tracks, which found that individuals on the flight were at “real risk of irreversible harm”, should the UK to Rwanda plan go ahead.

Ms Coffey from the High Court in London said: “We have a good track record and we want to make sure we deter unsafe illegal routes of entry into this country while maintaining routes that are safe and legal.”

But despite the challenge from courts, the government intend for the flight to proceed soon.

Government officials speak up

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said: “Many of those removed from this flight will be placed on the next” and the “repeated legal barriers” were similar to those faced by the government on other deportations.

Mr Robertson, on behalf of Doughty Street Chambers, has said: “lawyers at many chambers” took the case to the ECHR and it decided the government should not deport any individuals “until the judicial review had concluded and had approved the lawfulness of the policy”.

“So it shouldn’t have come as any surprise to the government because it’s well known that when domestic remedies in the British courts are exhausted you can go to the European court.”

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