Politics

Preparations are now underway for first flight of asylum seekers to Rwanda

Preparations for the first flight of asylum seekers to Rwanda are underway with the Government hoping required legislation will pass into law within weeks. The Safety of Rwanda Bill returns to the House of Commons on April 15, when MPs are set to overturn amendments introduced by the House of Lords.

This is expected to mark the end of battles between the two Houses of Parliament after the Archbishop of Canterbury, one of the policy’s most vocal critics and a member of the Lords, signalled he will no longer obstruct the policy.

Up to 150 asylum seekers have been identified for removal to the African nation where their applications will be processed with no right to come back to the UK.

The legislation, expected to receive Royal Assent before the end of April, prevents court challenges against the general principle of moving people to Rwanda, but it will still be possible for those selected to launch appeals based on their individual circumstances.

Meanwhile a group of Tory MPs are pressing the Government to publish crime rates for migrants by nationality, in order to identify where foreign offenders are coming from.

The plan is backed by former immigration minister Robert Jenrick, who said: “I think that the public want to know who’s coming into our country and what the economic, the fiscal and the societal impact of immigration is.

“There are people coming to this country who do us harm. There are people coming from countries who don’t share our western liberal values and attitudes towards women and minorities, and we need to be open and honest about that.”

A planned amendment to the Government’s Criminal Justice Bill would require the annual publication of the nationality, visa and asylum status of every offender convicted in English and Welsh courts in the previous year.

Mr Jenrick called for a “fundamentally different approach” to immigration, telling broadcaster GB News: “We’re clearly going down the wrong path. We’re living in a country with net migration of 600,000 or 700,000, and we’re not stopping the boats.”

So far this year 4,644 migrants have arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel unlawfully, a record high for the first three months of a calendar year.

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