James Grundy MP: plans in place for Rwanda flights for illegal immigrants

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​The issue of illegal immigration is one that affects constituents both locally and nationally.

​The government have made good progress stopping the boats – the number of small boat arrivals fell by a third in 2023.

But I know it is not enough. For as long as this route is viable, people will keep coming.

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This is why Rwanda matters.  The only way to stop the boats is to remove the incentive to come – by making clear that if you come here illegally, you will not be allowed to stay. 

Leigh MP James GrundyLeigh MP James Grundy
Leigh MP James Grundy

After months of delay from Labour and their members in the House of Lords – we have passed the Safety of Rwanda Bill.

This means that – after two years – we can start the process to send the first flights of illegal migrants to Rwanda and deter people from coming illegally in the first place.

There will be no further delays. We will do the final training of caseworkers, conduct the case-file reviews and, now the Bill has received Royal Assent, we will detain the first cohort of migrants for removal.

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We will send the first flight to Rwanda in 10-12 weeks, with multiple flights every month over the summer and beyond until the boats are stopped.

This is one of the most complex operational endeavours carried out by the Home Office, but we are ready and plans are in place.

It should be this country and your government who decides who comes here, not criminal gangs.

That’s why we will do whatever it takes to get flights off and stop the boats.

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The Safety of Rwanda Bill will confirm that Rwanda is a safe third country, allowing us to get flights off the ground.

This ensures that people cannot delay flights by bringing systemic challenges about the safety of Rwanda in our domestic courts.

Now the Bill has passed, we will start the process of sending people to Rwanda.

This will take 10-12 weeks with the final training of caseworkers to work the casefiles for the initial cohort and quality assure that casework, allow the Rwandans to check they are content with the specific cohort and serve removal directions, statutorily we must do this at least five working days prior to flight.

Given the number of hurdles we expect people to be put in our way, we need to ensure the process is robust at every stage.

We will not allow a foreign court to block flights. The new legislation is clear that Ministers alone have the discretion to decide whether to comply with Rule 39 measures so that we finally break the business model of the criminal gangs and save lives.

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