Eye-watering cost of Rwanda plan revealed as figure DOUBLES before a single migrant has been sent there

Rishi Sunak

The eye-watering cost of the Government's plan to send migrants to Rwanda has been revealed

PA
Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke


Published: 08/12/2023

- 06:54

Updated: 08/12/2023

- 06:58

The revelation will trigger fury among Conservative MPs who were advised by the Government last month that they would not be given a 'running commentary' on the plans

The eye-watering cost of the Government's plan to send migrants to Rwanda has been revealed, with the Home Office admitting that the total has doubled before a single migrant has even been sent there.

The Government handed over an extra £100 million to Rwanda this year, and will send a further £50 million next year.


Home Office Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft wrote to select committee chairs last night, confirming that the cost of the scheme will increase from £140 million to £290 million.

The revelation will trigger fury among Conservative MPs who were advised by the Government that they would not be given a "running commentary" on the Bill.

WATCH: Sunak defends the Rwanda scheme 

Not a single migrant has yet been sent to Rwanda, with the scheme beleaguered by legal challenges.

The Government unveiled new legislation to address the concerns of the Supreme Court after it ruled the scheme illegal in November.

But just last night it was revealed that Rishi Sunak has been told by Government lawyers that his new plan will be "seriously impeded” from working because it "provides an easy way" for migrants to avoid deportation.

This comes despite Sunak telling hte public at an emergency press conference yesterday that he is confident the scheme will work, promising to “finish the job” before an election.

Two senior lawyers told the Government the scheme risks failure, as it allows for individuals to bring legal challenges against it, sources told the Times.

And separate external legal advice, sought by the Government, warned that the failure to exclude individual challenges "is inconsistent with the intellectual underpinning of the bill and also would provide an easy way for many applicants to avoid the effects of the bill".

But a Government source told the Times: “Since this bill was published, a raft of eminent lawyers have advised that this bill means that the courts will not be able to block us from getting flights off to Rwanda to stop the boats.

"This includes Lord Sumption, the former Supreme Court judge, who said he believes the legislation will work on the basis that ‘the courts will do what they are told to do’.”

The new Bill says the UK parliament "is sovereign", noting that "the validity of an Act is unaffected by international law".

But a source close to former Home Secretary Suella Braverman warned that the legislation will allow "every single illegal migrant to make individual human rights claims", saying it is a "further betrayal of Tory voters".

The source said: "This bill doesn’t come close to meeting Suella’s tests.

"The PM has kept the ability for every single illegal migrant to make individual human rights claims against their removal and to then appeal those claims if they don’t succeed. It is fatally flawed.

"It will be bogged down in the courts for months…. It won’t stop the boats.

"It is a further betrayal of Tory voters and the decent patriotic majority who want to see this insanity brought to an end."

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