UK to take 'most vulnerable' refugees from Rwanda under deal, says scheme's negotiator

12 June 2022, 16:52 | Updated: 12 June 2022, 16:56

By Tim Dodd

The UK "stands ready" to receive "vulnerable refugee populations" from Rwanda if they can't be accommodated appropriately there, as part of its obligations under the countries' deal, says Rwanda’s lead legal negotiator Doris Uwicyeza Picard.

On Friday the high court in London heard that 31 people were due on the first flight on Tuesday, with the Home Office planning to schedule more this year.

Prince Charles is said to be "more than disappointed" by the Government's policy, with reports that he privately described the move as "appalling".

Up to 130 people have been notified that they could be removed from the UK under Priti Patel's new policy to send migrants to Rwanda in a bid to curb channel crossings. 

Doris Uwicyeza Picard is Chief Technical Advisor to the Rwandan Minister of Justice and the country's lead legal negotiator for the partnership. She told Swarbrick on Sunday:

"This commitment is a reflection of our shared responsibilities in relocating the most vulnerable from our country to theirs [the UK].

"The particularities of this understanding have not yet been detailed out... If we have vulnerable refugee populations that can only be accommodated appropriately in the UK, we will work in partnership with the UK to accommodate these vulnerable populations."

Read more: Prince Charles 'slams Rwanda migrant plan' as High Court rules first flight can go ahead

Tom asked: "Does that number have a limit or not?"

Ms Picard said that the UK's responsibility to take some refugees from Rwanda was "only for these very isolated and extreme cases".

"Under this partnership, we are getting substantial investment that will benefit all migrants and all refugees in Rwanda, which means that all those vulnerabilities will be addressed under this investment partnership that we have with the UK," she said.

"This will significantly lower the need to have these vulnerabilities catered for elsewhere."

Ms Picard that those sent to the UK for protection would be admitted subject to the UK's "approval, at their own discretion".

Read more: Archbishop condemns 'ungodly' Rwanda asylum scheme as Home Office concerns made public

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