As she persists with a strategy beset by legal issues and controversy, British Interior Minister Suella Braverman will visit Rwanda this weekend to discuss a deal whereby Britain will relocate refugees and migrants who come without authorization.
As part of a $146 million agreement, Britain agreed to transport thousands of refugees and migrants more than 6,400 kilometers to Rwanda. However, no flights have yet to depart as the policy is being contested in court by opponents.
The partnership is a key component of Britain’s plans to detain and deport asylum seekers who arrive in small boats across the English Channel. Some charities have expressed concern about the idea, saying it may be unworkable and criminalize the efforts of thousands of real refugees.
During the visit, Braverman will meet Rwandan President Paul Kagame, and he suggested that the deportation of refugees to Rwanda might happen soon.
In a statement, she said, “I am in Rwanda this weekend to reaffirm the government’s dedication to the partnership as part of our plan to stop the boats and discuss plans to operationalize our agreement soon.
The partnership was declared in April, but the first deportation aircraft was prevented by an injunction issued by the European Court of Human Rights.
After that, it was declared legal by London’s High Court in December. However, opponents plan to challenge that decision in April, and it still has a chance to reach Britain’s Supreme Court later in the year.
Braverman has vehemently supported her strategy and referred to her critics as “naive do-gooders.”