The ECtHR says it is ‘thinking’ about banning provisions, while the UK believes migrant flights

The European Court of Human Rights said on Monday it was “discussing” the use of emergency interim measures, but denied it was linked to an order it issued last year that ended a British plan to send migrants to Rwanda.

The British government hopes to send thousands of migrants 4,000 miles (6,400 km) away to the East African country as part of a £120 million ($146 million) deal it negotiated with Rwanda last April.

But no evacuations have taken place since the ECtHR intervened at the last minute to prevent the first flight from taking off last June. The court issued an injunction under Article 39 preventing any further action until the British courts concluded a legal challenge to the scheme.

On Monday, however, British newspapers reported “constructive” talks between London and the European Court of Justice, citing an unnamed government source who said the judges were on the verge of giving in.

When asked about the reports, the ECtHR said it would amend its rules if necessary and “pay attention to the points raised by the government representatives of the 46 member states”.

“Since last November, procedures for dealing with interim proceedings have been considered,” the court said in a statement. “This internal review is independent of the status of any individual case or interim measures in any of the 46 member states.”

The British Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney General were informed of the review during meetings with the president of the court earlier this year.

The Rwanda project is a fundamental part of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s pledge to prevent migrants from crossing the Channel in small boats. Last year, more than 45,000 people made the perilous journey.

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British Home Secretary Suella Braverman visited Rwanda this weekend to look at possible deportations.

“I am encouraged by the constructive talks the government has had with Strasbourg recently, including possible reforms to the Article 39 procedures, which we clearly want to see,” the British media reported.

Ferdinand Woolridge

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