The plans are highly controversial. But urgent requests had failed. Now Great Britain wants to send illegally arrived migrants to Rwanda – and thus set an example against human smuggling.

Despite protests, Great Britain wants to deport several refugees by plane to the East African country of Rwanda for the first time this Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Liz Truss was optimistic on Sky News that the plane could take off after the British judiciary gave the green light. The conservative politician left open when the plane will take off and how many people will be on board. “It is important that the flight takes place and that we introduce the principle.”

It’s about showing that the business model of smuggling people by boat across the English Channel “simply doesn’t work,” said Truss. Britain has signed an agreement with Rwanda on this. People who have entered the UK illegally should be given the opportunity to apply for asylum there. A return is not planned.

Few migrants on board

Various urgent applications against the first flight had failed in court in several instances. However, individual objections have now meant that there will probably only be a few migrants on board the machine – according to information from Sky News only seven. According to a report, the machine should not start until the evening (10:30 p.m. CEST). Truss said: “There will be people on board. And if you’re not on this flight, take the next one.”

The British opposition, the UN refugee agency UNHCR and human rights organizations accuse Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government of violating international law with the deportation flights. According to media reports, even the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, who is committed to political neutrality, is said to have described the procedure as “appalling”. In an open letter published by the Times (Tuesday), the bishops of the Church of England spoke of a “disgrace to the nation”. Truss dismissed the criticism. “Our policy is perfectly legal, perfectly moral.”