Boris Johnson ‘conscious’ of arriving in Rwanda before migrants as he lands at summit

Boris Johnson has said he is “conscious” he has travelled to Rwanda before any of the Government’s migrant flights have made it to the country as he defended his “offshoring” policy. 

The Prime Minister has just landed in Kigali as he attends the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm). 

Speaking to reporters as he prepared for his flight, Mr Johnson said: “I’m conscious that I’m arriving before anybody who has travelled illegally across the Channel, I cannot conceal that fact from you – there it is – but it is still the case that no UK court and no international court has ruled our plan unlawful.” 

The UK struck a partnership deal with Rwanda two months ago to allow the Government to deport migrants who arrive in the UK illegally. 

But the policy has been the subject of repeated legal challenges and the first flight to Rwanda was halted after an intervention by European judges. 

The Government remains firmly committed to the policy and Mr Johnson said his visit to Rwanda is an opportunity “for us all to understand for ourselves what that partnership has to offer”. He added: “Let’s hope perhaps help others to shed some of their condescending attitudes to Rwanda and how that partnership might work.” 

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