He also said he was "very proud" of schemes to settle people fleeing Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Ukraine but said gangs were "preying on the vulnerabilities of families" by "putting them on unsafe boats" in the channel.
"We've got to break their business model so that actually the legal routes are the way forward," he said. "Those people have arrived in a safe country in France. My family fled directly from Iraq to a safe country which is the United Kingdom and I'm very proud of that".
\u201cKILLER question by @JayneSeckerSky:\n\n"How would have fared if you'd been put on a plane to Rwanda?"\n\nIt leaves @nadhimzahawi floundering and trying to argue the fact that his parents were lucky enough to flee on a plane directly to the UK, somehow, makes all the difference. ~AA\u201d
Last night the ECHR ruled that one of the seven people who had been scheduled to leave on the flight should not be removed. This allowed lawyers representing the others to make last-minute applications of their own.
Responding to the decision, Patel said she was “disappointed” by the legal challenge to the scheme which will send people arriving to the UK to the country and said that the policy will continue.
“We will not be deterred from doing the right thing and delivering our plans to control our nation’s borders,” she said. “Our legal team are reviewing every decision made on this flight and preparation for the next flight begins now.”
Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said that the government must take responsibility for the failed flight, and indicated that the government does not mind clashing with lawyers and the European courts.
“Ministers are pursuing a policy they know isn’t workable and that won’t tackle criminal gangs,” she wrote on Twitter last night. “But they still paid Rwanda £120m and hired a jet that hasn’t taken off because they just want a row and someone else to blame.”
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