In her speech to the party conference, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper described the £120 million plan as “truly harmful, extortionately costly, impractical, and unethical.”
She pledged to use the money saved to fund “a new cross-border police unit” that would collaborate with French authorities to combat people smuggling groups.
She also outlined plans to hire 13,000 more police officers at £360 million. When she said that Labour will be “tough on crime and harsh on the causes of crime,” she was quoting Tony Blair.
The five-year agreement with Rwanda was announced earlier this year by former prime minister Boris Johnson and former home secretary Priti Patel.
Despite this, no flights have even taken off yet due to a number of legal issues. Liz Truss has promised to uphold the policy and may even broaden it to include additional nations.
Ms. Cooper promised the conference that “We’ll make sure the immigration system is fair, tough, and appropriately administered.”
And, in contrast to the Conservatives, “we will work with France to prevent dangerous small boats from crossing the Channel and endangering lives, with a new cross-border police unit to crack down on the criminal gangs who make millions by trafficking in people and profiting from their lives, paid for by canceling the deeply harmful, exorbitantly expensive, impractical, and unethical Rwanda plan.”
Officials worry that the case may eventually need to make a final appeal to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights, adding to the wait.
Since the year began, 32,321 migrants traveling on tiny boats have arrived in Britain. The number of arrivals in September has already broken a monthly record.
In June, former home secretary Priti Patel approved a charter flight to Rwanda, but an 11th-hour intervention by a Strasbourg court prevented it from taking off.
In the first round of a judicial review, the High Court in London examined the policy’s constitutionality earlier this month. A decision is expected later in the fall. Initially, it was anticipated that if the Home Office prevailed in that lawsuit, Rwandan charter flights would be permitted to start.
Officials are said to be “optimistic” about the chances of victory in the first hearing, but they anticipate further drawn-out legal fights.
Miss Braverman has reportedly been informed by advisors that she will have to wait until a number of appeals have been heard.
Even if the Home Office prevails in the High Court, the Government’s adversaries would probably appeal the decision, with a possible next step being the Supreme Court.