The flight that was to take asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda was canceled at the last minute

Seven migrants were said to have flown from London to Rwanda last night. This is what the British government agreed with the East African country.

Asylum seekers and refugees who have entered the UK illegally can apply for asylum in Rwanda. In return, London pays more than 140 million euros.

The agreement met with strong opposition from human rights groups and trade unions, but a London court proved it wrong. It ruled earlier this week that the government had the right to act “in the common interest.”

European Court of Human Rights

However, the plane was unable to take off. At the last moment, the European Court of Human Rights intervened. “It looks like the flight will continue tonight, although more and more asylum seekers are withdrawing,” says reporter Leah van Beekhoven. “First, more than 100 will be flown to Rwanda, then there were only 30 and finally 7.”

“There were fewer and fewer because all of these asylum seekers were based on a very recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights,” explains van Beekhoven. Minutes before the flight was due to take off, the names were removed from the passenger list and no one was left.


“This is a huge setback for Prime Minister Boris Johnson,” Van Beekhoven said. “It seems that he wants to get rid of the European Court. He had said earlier that lawyers who tried to cancel the trip on behalf of asylum seekers are playing into the hands of people smugglers.”

It is unclear what will happen now. “The British government would have liked to see tonight’s flight go ahead before this policy could be tested in a lawsuit in England next month. It is not entirely certain what the next step will be now, but it looks like this first flight will be the last.”

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Megan Vasquez

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