William Hague has urged the UK Government to replace the Rwanda migrant plan with another country if the deportation scheme fails.
The former Conservative leader said plans to send migrants to a safe third country is a "necessary component" of immigration policy, adding: “if it wasn’t Rwanda it would have to be somewhere else”.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled that the plan to send migrants to Rwanda is unlawful.
Speaking to Times Radio, Hague said: "They have got to have some aspect of this policy that shows that if you come to Britain illegally you are going to get removed from it.
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"But where you are going to get removed to has to meet all the necessary human rights and other requirements.
"So I think that is a necessary component, one way or another.
"If it wasn’t Rwanda it would have to be somewhere else.
"Other countries are looking at very similar things and so this has got to feature somewhere in most governments’ approach to immigration.
"Otherwise the illegal immigrant doesn’t have much disincentive at all to try to make that dangerous journey."
All five justices unanimously agreed with the Court of Appeal’s conclusion that the Rwanda policy was unlawful.
Delivering his judgement, Lord Reed noted that "the court of appeal was right to overturn the high court's decision and to consider the evidence again for itself".
He cited concerns about "media and political freedom", the country's "poor human rights record" and a "misunderstanding of its obligations under the Refugee Convention".
Speaking after the ruling, the Prime Minister said the Government will "carefull review" the judgement and make plans for "next steps".
He said: “Channel crossings are down compared to last year. We’ve increased immigration enforcement activity, asylum decisions have tripled since the start of the year and we’ve ramped up returns.
“Our partnership with Rwanda, while bold and ambitious, is just one part of a vehicle of measures to stop the boats and tackle illegal migration.
“But clearly there is an appetite for this concept. Across Europe, illegal migration is increasing and governments are following our lead – Italy, Germany and Austria are all exploring models similar to our partnership with Rwanda.