PRITI Patel has taken the rare step of issuing a ministerial direction to override concerns from civil servants about her plan to send migrants to Rwanda on a one-way ticket, it is being reported.

The Home Secretary has overridden those in the civil service who voiced fears that the UK Government's plan would not offer value for money.

It's understood Patel shot down this concern, with the direction focussing on the difficulty in quantifying the policy's financial impact, according to reports.

Boris Johnson previously announced that the UK will fly those seeking asylum through irregular means, particularly those on small boats coming through the English Channel, to Rwanda.

He said the plan would deter the gangs that transport migrants from France to the UK.

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The policy prompted outrage from human rights groups and opposition parties, with it being dubbed "cruel". Parties have also said the plan is likely to be expensive and ineffective.

It comes just after the Prime Minister, his wife, the Chancellor and 47 other Whitehall staff were fined for breaking their own laws on parties during Covid lockdowns.

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One Home Office insider said: “Home Office officials are clear that deterring illegal entry would create significant savings. However, such a deterrent effect cannot be quantified with certainty.

“It would be wrong to let a lack of precise modelling delay a policy aimed at reducing illegal migration, saving lives, and breaking the business model of the smuggling gangs.”

Several legal challenges are likely to follow the announcement, with the UN's refugee council on Friday saying that the plan breaks international law. 

Gillian Triggs, an assistant secretary-general at the UNHCR, said the agency “strongly condemns outsourcing the primary responsibility to consider the refugee status”, as laid out in the scheme put forward by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme, the former president of the Australian Human Rights Commission said the policy was a “troubling development”, particularly in the light of countries taking in millions of Ukrainian refugees displaced by the conflict in eastern Europe.

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Put to her that Australia had effectively deployed a similar tactic to cut migration numbers, Triggs said: “My point is, just as the Australian policy is an egregious breach of international law and refugee law and human rights law, so too is this proposal by the United Kingdom Government.

“It is very unusual, very few states have tried this, and the purpose is primarily deterrent – and it can be effective, I don’t think we’re denying that.

“But what we’re saying at the UN refugee agency is that there are much more legally effective ways of achieving the same outcome.”