UK's Johnson: Government 'not deterred' by Rwanda criticism

STORY: The flight to take asylum seekers to Rwanda was due to depart on Tuesday, with the government warning that anyone who avoided it through last-minute legal challenges would be put on a later flight anyway.

Britain has struck a $148 million deal with Rwanda to send some migrants, who had arrived illegally by crossing the Channel in small boats from Europe, to live in the landlocked African country.

The government says the deportation strategy is needed to stem the flow of migrants risking their lives in Channel crossings and smash the people-smuggling networks.

The plan has horrified political opponents, charities and church leaders who say it is inhumane. The United Nations' refugee chief called it "catastrophic," the entire leadership of the Church of England denounced it as an "immoral policy that shames Britain."

A full hearing to determine the legality of the policy as a whole is due in July.

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