UK’s Rwanda asylum plan: Appeal Court allows first flight to go ahead

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The government’s first flight taking asylum seekers to Rwanda can go ahead on Tuesday, appeal court judges have said.

It follows a previous decision by the High Court that it was in the “public interest” for the government to carry out its policies.

Under the scheme, some of those entering the UK illegally will be flown to Rwanda to apply for asylum there.

Campaigners were trying to stop people being sent to the east African country before a full hearing on whether the policy is lawful next month.

The court earlier heard 11 people were expected to be on Tuesday’s flight.

However, charity Care4Calais, which was among those appealing against the High Court decision, said only eight people were now due to fly.

The numbers drastically reduced due to legal challenges relating to modern slavery and human rights claims, a Home Office source told the BBC.

The government hopes the scheme will discourage asylum seekers from crossing the English Channel and therefore undermine smuggling gangs.

But Care4Calais described it as “cruel and barbaric”, and the scheme has been criticised by other charities, religious leaders, and opposition parties.

The policy will see people given accommodation and support in Rwanda while their asylum application is being considered by the Rwandan government.

If they are successful, they can stay there with up to five years’ access to education and support.

Those who fail in their asylum bids in Rwanda will be offered the chance to apply for other immigration routes, but could still face deportation.