Flight deporting migrants from UK to Rwanda could take off tarmac within weeks

Braverman says Labour has 'no plan' on small boats

A flight deporting migrants to Rwanda could take off as early as September.

Rishi Sunak is said to be increasingly hopeful the Government will win a challenge by human rights groups and unions in the Court of Appeal and avoid a Supreme Court showdown.

Ministers believe if judges throw out the appeal it is unlikely there will be legal justification for sending the case to the UK’s highest court.

The Home Office is reportedly preparing for a deportation flight to the east African nation as soon as September.

A senior government source told The Sun: “There’s a world in which we are wheels-up later this year and the Supreme Court do not get involved.”

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

But the High Court ruled the scheme was lawful earlier this year.

The Court of Appeal is expected to rule on the legality of the policy in the next couple of weeks.

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

The bill 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.

It will give ministers the power to overrule European judges if they try to block more flights.

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The bill is undergoing line-by-line scrutiny in the Lords at committee stage where it has come up against stiff opposition.

The Prime Minister, who made small boats one of his top five priorities, has indicated he could use Parliament Act to ram through the legislation through the upper chamber if necessary.

Asked if he would resort to the rarely-used mechanism, he told The Telegraph: “One of my five priorities is to stop the boats. This legislation is an incredibly important part of how we’re going to do that.

“It passed the House of Commons very strongly. And my intention is to see this piece of legislation on the statute books so that we can start using it.”

Asked a second time, Mr Sunak said: “I want to see this legislation on the statute books. It’s one of my five priorities. It is the country’s priority and this legislation is an incredibly important part of how we’re going to do that.”

A record 45,728 people crossed the English Channel to the UK on small boats in 2022.

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