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The failure to deport immigrants cost the UK government £12 million over seven years. I can reveal.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds a year are spent on canceled deportation flights as judicial review and last-minute legal tenders have raged on government attempts to increase deportation.
Concerns about the safety of people being repatriated after landing in their destination countries have also led to the suspension of such flights.
From March 2015 to March 2022, the UK spent £12.4m on canceled flights, according to publicly available government figures. It has become one of the largest declared “useless spending” within the government. This is how money spent by taxpayers without any benefit is recorded.
“Unsuccessful” flights by year
In 2020, £8.2m was spent on scheduled charter deportation flights. That year it cost taxpayers £575,000 and as such his five flights were cancelled.
Government spending on charter flights increased to £11m in 2021, with £900,000 in cancellation costs for fiscal 2021.
Charities have questioned the success of the government’s deportation policy, which has been a key focus in recent months.
The introduction of deportation into Rwanda is part of the government’s greater focus to increase deportation as small boat travel increases. In his year to June 2022, the government completed 3,250 deportations of her, according to government statistics, compared to her 2,929 the year before.
Nick Dearden of Global Justice Now said I The government’s policy has failed and the focus on deportation will bring more costs in the future.
“Treatment of humanitarian asylum seekers is not only the right thing to do, it is worth more than the cost. They are going into inhumane new depths while squandering huge sums of money on the We need to improve the system for people.
Figures are only available until March 2022, and the amount spent on canceled flights after that is likely to be higher than in previous years.
In June, the first British deportation flight to Rwanda was canceled after a last-minute injunction from the European Court of Human Rights as the plane was about to take off from Wiltshire.
The flight was part of a broader joint economic partnership between the UK and Rwanda.
The policy is aimed at deterring illegal immigration to the UK, and Rwanda’s immigration facilities can accommodate 500 residents a year.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak considers removing Britain from European human rights treaty after Rwanda’s first eviction flight
Seven people were scheduled to be deported on board, but were postponed before it was finally stopped due to the intervention of a judge. successfully challenged the
Reports at the time said the canceled Rwanda flight cost more than £500,000.
A month earlier, in May, the first repatriation flight to Iraq in a decade was canceled after the Kurdish regional government expressed concern that British authorities were not providing enough details about deportees. I was.
Kurdish officials said Guardian The Iraqi government requested case files for returning passengers, but the UK provided neither the names nor records of the passengers on board.
“The UK said it would provide details, but it wasn’t enough… needs to be studied,” an official told the newspaper.
The government had already organized specialized training for in-flight contractors to deal with kidnapping and hostage situations, and safety concerns about this ultimately influenced flight cancellations.
In 2020, at least 10 Jamaican men were taken off deportation flights following legal intervention, and the Home Office identified at least one as a potential victim of human trafficking.
The conservative Home Secretary is becoming increasingly outspoken about lawyers blocking deportations as more and more flights are disrupted.
Former Home Affairs Minister Priti Patel said in 2020: Those who defend a broken system — traffickers, Service-to-Others, left-handed lawyers, Labor — are defending the indefensible.
Meanwhile, Home Secretary Suera Braverman has criticized the “unelected” and “unaccountable” judges who intervene in Brexit, and government ministers say hundreds of people with criminal records are forced into prison every year. Defending flights being repatriated.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
“Despite the challenges we face, we are determined to remove those who have no right to stay in the UK, including dangerous foreign criminals. We will soon introduce new laws to allow them to return to their home country or to be deported to a safe third country.”