UK Supreme Court upholds migrant flight to Rwanda

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The first flight to take migrants arriving illegally in Britain to Rwanda can go ahead on Tuesday, Britain’s Supreme Court ruled, after judges dismissed campaigners’ latest attempt to win an injunction to stop it.

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Charities and a trade union had launched a fresh, last-minute appeal against the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to the East African nation after the High Court and Court of Appeal said the first planned flight could depart.

The Supreme Court judge Robert Reed refused lawyers for the human rights groups request to appeal the decision. The flight is due to depart late on Tuesday.

An application for judicial review is expected to be heard in July when the question will be decided whether the government’s policy is lawful or not, the judge noted, but that was not a reason to stop the flight.

“Rwanda will take all reasonable steps in accordance with international human rights standards to make a relocated individual available for return to the United Kingdom should the United Kingdom be legally obliged to facilitate that person's return,” Reed said.

“In the light of that assurance, and for the reasons that I’ve explained, the court refuses permission to appeal.”

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