New Rwanda flight farce: Doubts are raised that it will take off amid ‘deluge’ of court battles


New Rwanda flight farce: Priti Patel faces being banned from sending the first Channel migrants to Africa after a ‘deluge’ of legal claims for all 31 people due to be deported on Tuesday

  • Priti Patel could be banned from putting Channel migrants on flight to Rwanda
  • Lawyers tabled claims on behalf of 31 individuals due to be deported tomorrow 
  • Home Office sources said there was courts could delay the removal of all 31 

Priti Patel could be banned from putting Channel migrants on the first flight to Rwanda, it emerged last night.

Home Office sources said human rights lawyers had tabled a ‘deluge’ of legal claims on behalf of 31 individuals due to be deported tomorrow.

They said there was a ‘real prospect’ the courts could delay the removal of all 31.

It means that even if the Court of Appeal today grants the Home Secretary the right to go ahead with the first removal flight, there may be no one to put on it.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the 31 are said either to have lodged legal appeals or warned they would do so today.

Priti Patel could be banned from putting Channel migrants on the first flight to Rwanda, it emerged last night

Priti Patel could be banned from putting Channel migrants on the first flight to Rwanda, it emerged last night 

Home Office sources said human rights lawyers had tabled a ¿deluge¿ of legal claims on behalf of 31 individuals due to be deported tomorrow

Home Office sources said human rights lawyers had tabled a ‘deluge’ of legal claims on behalf of 31 individuals due to be deported tomorrow

Lawyers acting on behalf of the 31 are said either to have lodged legal appeals or warned they would do so today

Lawyers acting on behalf of the 31 are said either to have lodged legal appeals or warned they would do so today

Protesters chant and hold placards against the UK deportation flights to Rwanda outside Brook House Immigration Removal Centre on June 12

Protesters chant and hold placards against the UK deportation flights to Rwanda outside Brook House Immigration Removal Centre on June 12

‘We are getting claims from every single one,’ a source said. ‘In many cases they are making multiple claims under various bits of the Human Rights Act and modern slavery legislation. Over the weekend there have been new claims every hour and we expect more right up to when the flight goes.

‘We will operate the flight even if there is just one person on it, but there is a real prospect that even that might not be possible.’

The warning came as:

  • Tory MPs said the Human Rights Act may have to be scrapped;
  • Rwanda said it was ready to take ‘tens of thousands’ of migrants from Britain – and dismissed criticism of its human rights record;
  • Ministers accused Prince Charles of ‘over-reaching’ after the Daily Mail revealed he had branded the Rwanda policy ‘appalling’;
  • Government sources said ministers were reviewing the UK’s £80million funding for the UN refugee agency after it claimed the Rwanda policy failed its standards of ‘legality and appropriateness’;
  • Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis defended the policy, saying it would ‘break the business model’ of people-smugglers;
  • Angry protests were held yesterday both outside and within an immigration removal centre at Gatwick Airport.

Under the terms of the deal with Rwanda, those crossing the Channel illegally risk being given a one-way ticket to Kigali where they will have the chance to claim asylum in the African state.

Former security minister Sir John Hayes said it was ‘ethically the right thing to do, as well as being in line with public demands to take back control of our borders’.

Demonstrators at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre at Gatwick protest against plans to send migrants to Rwanda

Demonstrators at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre at Gatwick protest against plans to send migrants to Rwanda

Tory Peter Bone urged ministers to bring forward emergency legislation this week if the first flight to Rwanda was frustrated by legal action

Tory Peter Bone urged ministers to bring forward emergency legislation this week if the first flight to Rwanda was frustrated by legal action

‘I am sick to death of deranged do-gooders and fat cat lawyers frustrating government policy and the interests of the nation,’ said Sir John, who chairs the Common Sense Group of Tory MPs. ‘If we end up in a farcical situation where no one is allowed to get on a flight declared lawful by the courts because of spurious human rights challenges then we will have to repeal the Human Rights Act.

‘We are already committed to reforming it and we may need to go further. Every major policy this Government tries to pursue is getting caught up by the long tail of Blairism through legislation like the Human Rights Act.’

Fellow Tory Peter Bone urged ministers to bring forward emergency legislation this week if the first flight to Rwanda was frustrated by legal action.

He added: ‘It is maddening. I thought we had stopped these last-minute appeals. If there is a flaw in the law then the Home Secretary should come back immediately with legislation to correct it.

‘I am firmly of the view that this policy is morally right – we have to stop these evil people-smuggling gangs. But it is also politically essential. If we fail to stop the small boats and take back control of our borders then the British public will not forgive us.’

In a landmark ruling on Friday evening, the High Court rejected an application for a temporary injunction against the first flight made by the PCS union and the campaign groups Detention Action and Care 4 Calais.

Mr Justice Swift said it was ‘important for the secretary of state to be able to implement immigration control measures, and preventing that would be prejudicial to the public interest’.

The Court of Appeal will rule on the issue again today. A separate bid for an injunction will also be brought today by the group Asylum Aid. Home Office sources said that while only a handful of Channel migrants had provided reasons they should not be removed during the formal seven-day notice period, almost all were now lodging last-minute legal appeals.

In all, only about ten of the 130 migrants earmarked for the first few flights have yet to submit legal claims but they are expected to follow suit in the coming days

In all, only about ten of the 130 migrants earmarked for the first few flights have yet to submit legal claims but they are expected to follow suit in the coming days

Ministers are already planning to appoint an independent reviewer to examine whether the well-meaning legislation needs to be tightened up to stop spurious claims

Ministers are already planning to appoint an independent reviewer to examine whether the well-meaning legislation needs to be tightened up to stop spurious claims

Doris Uwicyeza, chief technical adviser to the Rwandan Ministry of Justice, yesterday said the central African state was ready to accept ¿tens of thousands¿ of people from the UK

Doris Uwicyeza, chief technical adviser to the Rwandan Ministry of Justice, yesterday said the central African state was ready to accept ‘tens of thousands’ of people from the UK

In all, only about ten of the 130 migrants earmarked for the first few flights have yet to submit legal claims but they are expected to follow suit in the coming days.

The majority of the claimants are making appeals under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, which enshrines the right to a family and private life. But some are also said to be seeking to exploit the UK’s modern slavery laws. A source said that the law sets a ‘low bar’ for those claiming to have been enslaved abroad or trafficked here, with the result that courts are often willing to allow them the statutory 45 days to produce evidence to back up their claims.

Ministers are already planning to appoint an independent reviewer to examine whether the well-meaning legislation needs to be tightened up to stop spurious claims.

Doris Uwicyeza, chief technical adviser to the Rwandan Ministry of Justice, yesterday said the central African state was ready to accept ‘tens of thousands’ of people from the UK.

She also defended Rwanda’s human rights record and said it was not illegal to be homosexual – rubbishing a claim made by some critics of the policy.

She told LBC Radio: ‘We understand the importance of protecting anybody from hate speech and discrimination, this is not tolerated in our society. The freedom from discrimination due to sexual orientation of a person is guaranteed in our constitution and the rule of law is there to enforce that.’

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union which represents many Border Force officials, said that no flights should be permitted before the ‘legality’ of the Rwanda policy was tested in the courts next month. 

Protesters up in arms over flight 

BY ISAAN KHAN FOR THE DAILY MAIL 

Protesters descended upon an immigration detention centre yesterday to join detainees in opposing the Government’s plan to send migrants to Rwanda.

In the emotionally charged scenes at Brook House immigration removal centre near Gatwick airport in West Sussex, a crowd forcefully banged the building’s gates while chanting ‘No to Rwanda’.

The demonstrators were also seen carrying placards with messages including ‘It’s inhumane’ and ‘We stand with you’.

Dozens of activists shouted ‘we are with you’, ‘set them free’ and ‘deportations no more… Britain is a racist state’.

Protesters descended upon an immigration detention centre yesterday to join detainees in opposing the Government¿s plan to send migrants to Rwanda

Protesters descended upon an immigration detention centre yesterday to join detainees in opposing the Government’s plan to send migrants to Rwanda

Many of the building¿s occupants, separated from the crowd by two sets of gates, were outside in a sizable group and responded with arms waving in the air and loud chants too.

Many of the building’s occupants, separated from the crowd by two sets of gates, were outside in a sizable group and responded with arms waving in the air and loud chants too.

Many of the building’s occupants, separated from the crowd by two sets of gates, were outside in a sizable group and responded with arms waving in the air and loud chants too.

In unison with protesters, people inside appeared to chant: ‘No Rwanda.’

The building is housing some of the migrants who have been told they face deportation to Rwanda, including on Tuesday’s flight.

Christian Hogsberg, 42, a history lecturer at the University of Brighton, said he was at the protest to ‘show solidarity with refugees who are facing the danger of deportation to authoritarian regime Rwanda at the hands of a Tory Government that is playing the race card in the most shameful manner’. 

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