Boris Johnson said 50 migrants have been told they will be sent to Rwanda within the next fortnight, and insisted that he was ready to fight with leftist lawyers who want to challenge the government's plans.
Under the 120 m scheme announced last month, people who have entered the UK illegally will be taken to the east African country where they will be allowed to apply for the right to settle.
The plans have faced widespread criticism from human rights charities and even some Tory backbenchers, including former prime minister Theresa May, as well as the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
Johnson stated in an interview with the Daily Mail that the first 50 illegal entrants into the country have already been served notice that they will be sent to the African country within a fortnight.
There is going to be a lot of legal opposition from the types of firms that have been taking taxpayer money to mount these types of cases, and to thwart the will of the people, the will of parliament. He said that we are ready for that.
We will make it work, and you know, we will dig in for the fight. We have a huge flowchart of things we have to deal with, with the leftie lawyers. Johnson said he would look at everything when asked if he could respond with a review of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Home Office released its equality impact assessment for the policy this week, and said there were concerns about the treatment of some LGBTQI people in the east African country. It said investigations point to the ill treatment of the group being more than one-off Tom Pursglove, minister for justice and tackling illegal immigration, said decisions to transport asylum seekers to Rwanda would be considered on a case-by-case basis and did not deny that people fleeing war in Ukraine could be among them.
Pursglove said there was no reason why a Ukrainian should be getting into a small boat, paying a smuggler to get to the UK. He was unable to point out any calculations that the Rwandan government's relocation policy will reduce the number of people arriving in the UK by small boats.
He said this is a new and untested policy at this point in time.
I think this policy will be a part of a wider package that we are introducing and will change the dynamic in the fullness of time. When challenged on human rights concerns surrounding the policy during a home affairs select committee hearing, Pursglove said Rwanda is a safe and secure country to use for resettlement. He argued that there were no systematic breaches of human rights obligations in the east African country.
More than 160 charities and campaign groups called for the prime minister to scrap what they described as shamefully cruel plans after the government sacked its relocation scheme.
The archbishop of Canterbury used his Easter sermon to question the move, saying there were serious ethical questions about sending asylum seekers overseas May, who was a former home secretary, said she did not support the idea on the grounds of legality, practicality and efficacy.