Priti Patel says Rwanda asylum plan ‘will take time’ as she vows to ‘take back control’

Ms Patel and Boris Johnson announced the Rwanda immigration partnership in April amid growing pressures to deal with the rising number of Channel crossings in 2021. At least 28,395 people made the perilous 21-mile journey throughout 2021, which is treble the number who made the trip in 2020.

However, according to Sky News, the number of people who have made the crossing this year so far is more than three times as many as were made between January and May in 2021 as at least 7,739 have already arrived on British shores.

The Government’s £120million scheme, which will see people deemed to have entered the UK by unlawful means be sent to the African country, has faced challenges from politicians and even the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Speaking at the Metropolitan Police’s specialist training centre in Gravesend, the Home Secretary said: “I’ve said from day one, even when I signed the agreement and announced the partnership, that this will take time and it will take time for a range of reasons.

“We see various hurdles and barriers, mainly from specialist law firms that want to block the removal of individuals that have no right to be in our country.

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“That is part of the techniques that they use.”

She added: “And when it comes to the issue of small boats, that is exactly why we changed our laws, that is why we have this partnership with Rwanda, because it’s sending out a clear signal that those that come to our country illegally, they will have no right to remain in our country.

“We will use every tool and every piece of legislation that we have at our disposal to make sure that we can remove them.”

Harking back to the Brexit referendum, Ms Patel concluded: “I will not be deterred from acting to deliver on the changes the British people voted for to take back control of our money, laws and borders.”

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However, the department has since said it does not recognise the figure and that there is no cap on the number of people who may be sent to Rwanda.

The Prime Minister also conceded he would need to take on an “army of politically-motivated lawyers”.

Mr Johnson later added: “Yes, of course, there are going to be legal eagles, liberal-left lawyers who will try to make this difficult.

“We always knew this was going to happen but it is a very sensible thing.”