First Rwanda flight cancelled after ECHR intervention - 15 relieved reactions

First Rwanda flight cancelled after ECHR intervention - 15 relieved reactions
UK's Rwanda asylum flight cancelled after European Court order
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The first plane scheduled to take migrants to Rwanda has been abandoned after successful intervention by the European Court of Human Rights. Government sources told PA that all migrants had been removed from the plane, which was due to take off on Tuesday (14 June).

Up to seven people were due to be sent to the east African country after coming to the UK to seek refuge. However, after an out-of-hours judge considered an appeal, the UK decision was overruled. The decision goes against Boris Johnson and his home secretary, Priti Patel, who promised to send thousands of asylum seekers 4,000 miles to the country in May.

It is understood, right now, that the Home Office cannot appeal against the decision.

A large portion of the public was ecstatic about the ECHR's efforts, with Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, saying: “We’re pleased the courts have ruled to stop this flight."

He added: “It’s time for the Government to stop this inhumane policy which is the basest of gesture politics, and start to engage seriously with sorting out the asylum system, so those who come to our country seeking refuge are treated fairly and according to the law.”

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James Wilson, deputy director of Detention Action, added: “Tonight is a night for the history books and the European Court of Human Rights, which was founded in the aftermath of the Holocaust, has done what it was established to do.

“It rarely intervenes in the legal matters of member countries. That it has done so now shows how potentially dangerous the Government’s Rwanda removals policy is.

“The ECHR has recognised that no one should be forced on a plane until our substantial legal challenge against this policy is heard by the High Court next month.”

Peoplealso took to Twitter to celebrate the good news.

Patel described the European Court of Human Rights intervention as “very surprising”, adding that “many of those removed from this flight will be placed on the next”.

She said the Home Office legal team is reviewing “every decision made on this flight”, and that preparation for the next flight “begins now”.

Following the grounding of the flight on Tuesday night, Patel said: “Earlier this year, I signed a world-leading Migration Partnership with Rwanda to see those arriving dangerously, illegally, or unnecessarily into the UK relocated to build their lives there.

“This will help break the people smugglers’ business model and prevent loss of life, while ensuring protection for the genuinely vulnerable.

“Access to the UK’s asylum system must be based on need, not on the ability to pay people smugglers.

“The demands on the current system, the cost to the taxpayer, and the flagrant abuses are increasing, and the British public have rightly had enough.

“I have always said this policy will not be easy to deliver and am disappointed that legal challenge and last-minute claims have meant today’s flight was unable to depart.

“It is very surprising that the European Court of Human Rights has intervened despite repeated earlier success in our domestic courts.

“These repeated legal barriers are similar to those we experience with other removals flights and many of those removed from this flight will be placed on the next.

“We will not be deterred from doing the right thing and delivering our plans to control our nation’s borders.

“Our legal team are reviewing every decision made on this flight and preparation for the next flight begins now.”

Rwandan Government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo said: “We are not deterred by these developments.

“Rwanda remains fully committed to making this partnership work. The current situation of people making dangerous journeys cannot continue as it is causing untold suffering to so many.

“Rwanda stands ready to receive the migrants when they do arrive and offer them safety and opportunity in our country.”

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