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The first group of people will be informed this week of the government’s intention to send them to Rwanda under its controversial relocation scheme, the Home Office has said.

Under plans announced last month, people arriving illegally in the UK via Channel crossings and other routes will be detained and sent to the east African nation to apply for asylum there.

The government has said it expects tens of thousand of people to be relocated under the scheme, although the plans face legal challenges from charities and campaign groups.

The Home Office has said that people who arrived in the UK across the Channel will be among the first group notified that it plans to send them to Rwanda.

It added that it expects the first flights to take place in the coming months.

In a statement the home secretary, Priti Patel, said: “Britain’s asylum system is broken as criminals exploit and smuggle people into our country at huge costs to UK taxpayers.

“The world-leading migration partnership with Rwanda means those making dangerous, unnecessary and illegal journeys to the UK may be relocated to Rwanda to have their claims for asylum considered and to rebuild their lives there, helping break the people-smugglers’ business model and prevent loss of life.

“This is just the first stage of the process and we know it will take time as some will seek to frustrate the process and delay removals.

“I will not be deterred from acting to deliver on the changes the British people voted for to take back control of our money, laws and borders.” - Christy Cooney, The Guardian

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