European judges could be on the brink of backing down on a barrier that prevents the take-off of migrant flights from the UK to Rwanda.
The Government held discussions with chiefs at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg about the process, known as Rule 39, that allowed judges to halt a deportation flight to the African country last year.
Ms Braverman spent the two-day visit touring long-term migrant accommodation and learning about the education and employment support that would be available to migrants.
She said: “I would call it a blessing. I’ve met refugees from several countries here who are enormously grateful for the sanctuary that Rwanda has provided – education opportunities, security, a home and opportunity in the future.”
“Coming to Rwanda, being resettled to Rwanda will provide these vulnerable people with a prosperous future.”
The first deportation flight to Rwanda was cancelled just minutes before take-off in June 2022 following a ruling by a judge at the European Court of Human Rights. The injunction has been one of the main barriers to flights departing from the UK, alongside a UK Appeal Court ruling over the policy.
The Government is reportedly seeking a higher threshold for injunctions in a bid to get future flights in the air.
On Saturday, Ms Braverman said Rwanda was “clearly ready” to start receiving asylum seekers. It means migrants who arrive in the UK illegally are likely to face deportation to Rwanda as early as this summer.
Those claiming to be victims of modern slavery will face deportation after the Home Secretary signed a revised deal with the African state’s foreign minister, closing loopholes that could have prevented removals.
A Government source said: “We are encouraged by discussions with Strasbourg over Rule 39. This would remove a key barrier to getting flights off the ground.”
Ms Braverman admitted the UK has an “unacceptably high number of people in hotels”, at a cost of £6million a day.
She said: “It’s clear that doing nothing is not an option because these costs need to come down, and that’s why the partnership with Rwanda is one that represents good value because it’s part of the solution.”
“We’ve got an unacceptably high number of people in hotels, throughout towns and cities in the UK, costing us £6million a day. That situation is unacceptable.”
Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden said the UK Government wanted to “get cracking” on sending migrants to Rwanda and cited challenges in the courts as the reason why the policy has yet to proceed.
But he expressed confidence the plans are “lawful” and insisted swift action would follow should the courts decide in the Government’s favour.
The Government won a High Court decision earlier this year that removals would be legal, but faces an appeal against the ruling. Mr Dowden said: “The reason why we haven’t been able to proceed with Rwanda is because it’s currently before the courts.
“We actually succeeded at the High Court stage, it’s before the Court of Appeal.”
“But as soon as that process is through we will get cracking straight away with the Rwanda policy.”
Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president, told Mrs Braverman yesterday that his country will “always have capacity” for more refugees. Mr Kagame said he welcomed the agreement between the two countries. During the 45-minute meeting in Kigali, Mr Kagame added he trusted the process that had been agreed between the nations.
Ms Braverman closed a loophole in the £140million agreement with Rwanda to incorporate all those illegally entering the UK as opposed to solely asylum seekers.
She signed the deal in Kigali with Rwanda’s foreign minister Vincent Biruta on Saturday. During her action-packed visit, Ms Braverman also met players from rival cricket teams Telugu Royals and Right Guards CC at Gahanga International Cricket Stadium in Kigali, even performing the coin toss before their match.
She also took part in a ceremony to mark the start of construction for a new building project of 500 apartments in the capital.
More than 100 migrants crossed the Channel on Saturday and a further 209 the previous day, despite the threat of deportation.