In response to the flight to Rwanda not taking off tonight as planned, Enver Solomon, CEO of Refugee Council, said:
“Whilst we are relieved to hear the flight to Rwanda did not take off as planned tonight it is clear that the Government remain determined to press on with this deal, leaving us to continue to witness the human suffering, distress, and chaos the threat of removal will cause with far reaching consequences for desperate people who are simply in need of safety.
“The fact that the final flight could not take off is indicative of the inhumanity of the plan and the Government’s complete refusal to see the face behind the case. Those threatened with removal are people who have escaped war, persecution, torture, and violence – many of whom have only been prevented from flying due to individual legal interventions declaring it a clear breach of their human rights to do so. The Refugee Council has also had to directly intervene to stop young people being removed to Rwanda because they were falsely assessed as adults.
“Government claims that this deal would act as a deterrent to end the model of people-traffickers, have already been disproven with the numbers of people travelling across the channel almost doubling on the same time last year. We always knew these measures would do little to stop desperate people making dangerous journeys to the UK, because they do absolutely nothing to address the reasons people come.
“The Government must immediately rethink by having a grown-up conversation with France and the EU about sharing responsibility and look to operating an orderly, humane, and fair asylum system.”