A plane is scheduled for later on Tuesday that asylum seekers who have crossed the Channel from France will be on flight heading for the Rwandan capital Kigali.
The British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told Sky News that the asylum seekers will be heading for Rwanda “and if they are not on this flight they will be on the next flight.”
Two legal challenges in the Court of Appeal have been rejected as they “cannot interfere” with the government’s proposals.
Truss told Sky News, “We are expecting to send the flight later today.
“I can’t say exactly how many people will be on the flight.
“But the really important thing is that we establish the principle and we start to break the business model of these appalling people traffickers who are trading in misery.
“There will be people on the flight and if they are not on this flight they will be on the next flight.”
A government spokesman said, “We welcome the court’s decision in our favour, and we will now continue to deliver on progressing our world-leading migration partnership which will help prevent loss of life and break the business model of vile people smugglers.
“Rwanda is a safe country and has previously been recognised for providing a safe haven for refugees – we will not be deterred in delivering our plans to fix the broken asylum system which will ultimately save lives.”
Labour’s shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell told Sky News, “We think this policy is unworkable… it’s incredibly expensive.
“It’s going to cost possibly over a million pounds per unsuccessful or successful refugee going to Rwanda. And we do think it’s unethical – and it’s quite un-British actually.
“We’ve been known around the world as a safe haven for those genuinely fleeing persecution and war – it’s been part of our make-up in this country for decades.”