Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda Deportations delayed until July 2024

In a surprise press conference, Rishi Sunak admitted that his policy to transport asylum seekers to Rwanda will be delayed until July 2024.

Rishi Sunak's Rwanda Deportations delayed until July 2024 f

“The first flights will leave in 10-12 weeks."

Rishi Sunak has acknowledged that his policy to transport asylum seekers to Rwanda will be delayed until summer 2024.

But he vowed flights would leave “every month” until they had deterred undocumented migration across the Channel.

In a Downing Street press conference, Mr Sunak said:

“The first flights will leave in 10-12 weeks.”

He indicated that he did not expect the first deportation flights of asylum seekers to leave for Rwanda until July.

The PM previously promised that the flights would begin in the spring.

He added that commercial charter planes and hundreds of trained staff were ready to take asylum seekers to Africa.

Referencing the small boats that have transported thousands of immigrants to the UK, Mr Sunak said that flights would leave “every month” over the summer “until the boats have stopped”.

He said an airfield had been identified for that purpose.

Mr Sunak said he would force MPs to sit on Monday, possibly into the night, until a stand-off with the House of Lords over Rwanda legislation was settled, blaming Labour for holding up the legislation and delaying the start of deportation flights.

Government insiders hoped the Rwanda bill would complete its parliamentary passage last week.

While the government can push the bill through the House of Commons, it does not have a majority in the Lords and this has resulted in a protracted period of parliamentary “ping pong”.

Peers have repeatedly amended the bill and MPs have then overturned the changes.

Peers previously approved two fresh amendments.

One stated that Rwanda cannot be deemed a safe country until it fully implements an independent monitoring committee for its asylum system, while another would exempt some refugees that have served alongside UK armed forces from falling within the scope of the scheme.

Rishi Sunak said: “The only way to stop the boats is to eliminate the incentive to come by making it clear that if you arrive here illegally, you will not be able to stay and this policy does exactly that.

“And be in no doubt about the choice that the country will face later this year.

“The Labour party have no plans, they will have no treaty bill and no flights to Rwanda, they are resigned to the idea that you will never fully solve this problem.”

Mr Sunak said the number of crossings had dropped by a third in 2023 after an agreement with the Albanian government, which had hugely reduced illegal Albanian migration.

However, he admitted there had been a surge in the number of vulnerable Vietnamese migrants paying criminal gangs to enter the country.

Mr Sunak said: “Vietnamese arrivals have increased tenfold and accounted for almost all the increase in small boat numbers we have seen this year.

“We can’t keep reacting to the changing tactics of these gangs.”

“The truth is, we need innovative solutions to address what is a global migration crisis to disrupt the business model of people-smuggling gangs.

“And that means a systematic deterrent.”

Dhiren is a News & Content Editor who loves all things football. He also has a passion for gaming and watching films. His motto is to "Live life one day at a time".

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