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Written Question
Asylum: Rwanda
Wednesday 29th June 2022

Asked by: Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Liberal Democrat - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much money they spent on preparing the planned flight to relocate asylum applicants to Rwanda which was cancelled on 14 June.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

The costs of our broken asylum system are at a 20 year record high, currently costing the UK taxpayer over £1.5bn a year, with £4.7 million a day being spent on hotels alone. This cannot continue – and the partnership with Rwanda is a key part of our plans to reform the system and put an end to unsustainable costs which impact the taxpayer.

The Government’s efforts to facilitate entirely legitimate and legal returns of people who have entered the UK illegally are too often frustrated by late challenges submitted hours before the flight. These claims are very often baseless and entirely without merit, but are given full legal consideration which can lead to removal being rescheduled.

Costs for individual flights and legal services will vary based on a number of different factors and are regularly reviewed to ensure that best value for money is balanced against the need to remove those individuals with no right to remain in the UK.

We do not routinely disclose commercial or operational information relating to individual charter flights.


Written Question
Asylum: Rwanda
Wednesday 29th June 2022

Asked by: Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Liberal Democrat - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many airlines they consulted regarding the cost of relocating asylum applicants to Rwanda on the scheduled flight of 14 June.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

The costs of our broken asylum system are at a 20 year record high, currently costing the UK taxpayer over £1.5bn a year, with £4.7 million a day being spent on hotels alone. This cannot continue – and the partnership with Rwanda is a key part of our plans to reform the system and put an end to unsustainable costs which impact the taxpayer.

The Government’s efforts to facilitate entirely legitimate and legal returns of people who have entered the UK illegally are too often frustrated by late challenges submitted hours before the flight. These claims are very often baseless and entirely without merit, but are given full legal consideration which can lead to removal being rescheduled.

Costs for individual flights and legal services will vary based on a number of different factors and are regularly reviewed to ensure that best value for money is balanced against the need to remove those individuals with no right to remain in the UK.

We do not routinely disclose commercial or operational information relating to individual charter flights.


Written Question
Asylum: Rwanda
Wednesday 29th June 2022

Asked by: Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Liberal Democrat - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government why they selected a non-UK airline to relocate asylum applicants from the UK to Rwanda on 14 June.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

The costs of our broken asylum system are at a 20 year record high, currently costing the UK taxpayer over £1.5bn a year, with £4.7 million a day being spent on hotels alone. This cannot continue – and the partnership with Rwanda is a key part of our plans to reform the system and put an end to unsustainable costs which impact the taxpayer.

The Government’s efforts to facilitate entirely legitimate and legal returns of people who have entered the UK illegally are too often frustrated by late challenges submitted hours before the flight. These claims are very often baseless and entirely without merit, but are given full legal consideration which can lead to removal being rescheduled.

Costs for individual flights and legal services will vary based on a number of different factors and are regularly reviewed to ensure that best value for money is balanced against the need to remove those individuals with no right to remain in the UK.

We do not routinely disclose commercial or operational information relating to individual charter flights.


Written Question
Isa Muazu
Tuesday 28th June 2022

Asked by: Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Liberal Democrat - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will reconsider the status of Isa Muazu, who was deported from the UK to Nigeria in 2013.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

I am unable to comment on individual cases on the grounds of data protection principles and the operational independence of the police and courts.

The UK only ever returns those who both the Home Office and the courts are satisfied do not need our protection and have no legal basis to remain in the UK. We do not routinely reconsider the cases of those who have been lawfully removed.


Written Question
Asylum: Rwanda
Monday 27th June 2022

Asked by: Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Liberal Democrat - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many asylum seekers will be on board the deportation flight to Rwanda on 14 June; and what was the cost per head.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

We will not provide a running commentary on operational planning for a charter flight. Information will be provided in due course.

The UK has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership arrangement and to address the shared challenge of illegal migration. This has been published on GOV.UK. The Migration and Economic Development Partnership fully complies with all national and international law, including the UN Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (Section 10) enables the Home Office to remove persons unlawfully in the UK.


Written Question
Asylum: Rwanda
Monday 27th June 2022

Asked by: Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Liberal Democrat - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there was any parliamentary approval regarding the agreement reached with Rwanda in relation to asylum seekers.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

We will not provide a running commentary on operational planning for a charter flight. Information will be provided in due course.

The UK has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership arrangement and to address the shared challenge of illegal migration. This has been published on GOV.UK. The Migration and Economic Development Partnership fully complies with all national and international law, including the UN Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (Section 10) enables the Home Office to remove persons unlawfully in the UK.


Written Question
Asylum: Age
Monday 27th June 2022

Asked by: Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Liberal Democrat - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Home Office decisions on the age of migrant asylum seekers have been (1) disputed, and (2) needed to be reassessed, in the past five years.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

The Home Office publishes data on asylum in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’, which can be found on gov.uk.

Data on age disputes raised can be found in table Asy_D05 of the ‘asylum and resettlement detailed datasets’, which is also attached. Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relate to the year ending March 2022. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the 'Research and statistics calendar’ section, on gov.uk (year ending June 2022 will be released on 25 August 2022)

The Home office does not publish a breakdown on the number of age assessments disputed or reassessed.


Written Question
Ukraine: Visits Abroad
Monday 27th June 2022

Asked by: Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Liberal Democrat - Life peer)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Prime Minister's flight to Ukraine on 17 June was (1) a special charter flight, or (2) a regular commercial flight.

Answered by Lord True - Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

Details of the Prime Minister’s overseas travel are published quarterly and will be made available on GOV.UK in due course.


Written Question
Ukraine: Visits Abroad
Monday 27th June 2022

Asked by: Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Liberal Democrat - Life peer)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the cost of the Prime Minister's flight to Ukraine on 17 June.

Answered by Lord True - Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

Details of the Prime Minister’s overseas travel are published quarterly and will be made available on GOV.UK in due course.


Written Question
Venezuela: UN Human Rights Council
Monday 20th June 2022

Asked by: Lord Roberts of Llandudno (Liberal Democrat - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to seek the expulsion of Venezuela from the United Nations Human Rights Council due to that country's human rights record.

Answered by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK has been clear about our human rights concerns in Venezuela. Reports on the situation by the UN's Independent International Fact-Finding Mission have been deeply worrying, suggesting very serious human rights violations are being carried out with the support of regime leaders, senior military officers and officials. The UK actively promotes and supports human rights in Venezuela through our engagement and projects.

The UK is clear that all members of the Council should uphold the high standards expected of them and demonstrate respect for the principle of universal human rights in their actions.