Home Secretary Suella Braverman has admitted she cannot guarantee that her legislation designed to prevent refugees arriving in Britain on small boats will be compatible with human rights laws.

Under the plans anyone crossing the channel to claim asylum will be removed “as soon as reasonably practicable” to Rwanda or a safe third country.

The Government has paid more than £140 million to Rwanda but no flights forcibly carrying asylum seekers to the capital of Kigali have taken off because of legal challenges.

Travelling to another country to seek asylum is not illegal and is protected under international law, but the Conservative government has looked to punish those who do not arrive by "safe and legal" routes such as the UK Resettlement Scheme, Community Sponsorship, or the Mandate Scheme.

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It has also attempted to argue that the small number of people making the crossing from Calais to Britain are not genuine refugees.

However, data from EU external border control agency, FRONTEX, say that the large majority of people coming into the EU come from Syria, Eritrea, Sudan, Afghanistan and Iraq. Of these, by far the largest group are Syrians.

HeraldScotland: LAMPEDUSA, ITALY - MAY 24:  Refugees and migrants are seen swimming and yelling for assistance from crew members from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) 'Phoenix' vessel after a wooden boat bound for Italy carrying more than 500 people

Most asylum claims in the UK are successful – in 2021, the estimated overall grant rate where a final outcome has been reached was 77 per cent.

Under the proposals in the bill, arrivals will be prevented from claiming asylum while in the UK, with plans also to ban them from returning once removed.

Downing Street said the limited safe and legal routes to asylum in the UK will be increased – but only “once we have stopped the boats”.

However, it is unclear if the plans will be compatible with the Human Rights Act 1998, which signed into UK law the European Convention on Human Rights.

And addressing MPs in the House of Commons Ms Braverman admitted that she couldn't guarantee the bill would be compatible with existing law.

HeraldScotland: File photo dated 10/01/23 of Home Secretary Suella Braverman who has urged peers to back "proper penalties" for disruptive protesters in a proposed law criticised for potentially allowing police officers "to do as they please". The

She said: "Our approach is robust and novel, which is why we can’t make a definitive statement of compatibility under section 19 1b of the Human Rights Act.

“Of course the UK will always seek to uphold international law and I am confident that this Bill is compatible with international obligations.”

Since 2014, the UK has resettled around 18,000 refugees from Syria, compared to near 4 million Syrians who have sought asylum in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Turkey and Pakistan host more refugees than all EU countries combined.

Around 3,000 asylum seekers are housed in the Calais 'jungle', with France processing nearly twice as many asylum claims per year than the UK.

In addition, asylum seekers are not permitted to work in the UK while their status remains in question, unless that period exceeds 12 months.

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Ms Braverman told the Commons: “To anyone proposing de facto open borders through unlimited safe and legal routes as the alternative, let’s be honest, there are a hundred million people around the world who could qualify for protection under our current laws.

“Let’s be clear, they are coming here. We’ve seen a 500% increase in small boats crossing in two years.

“This is the crucial point of this Bill. They will not stop coming here until the world knows that if you enter Britain illegally you will be detained and swiftly removed.

“Removed back to your country if it is safe, or to a safe third country like Rwanda. And that is precisely what this Bill will do. That is how we will stop the boats.”

Just under 46,000 were believed to have made the crossing in 2021, far lower than the arrivals in the likes of Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and Hungary.

Amnesty International UK said: "The UK Government's new asylum plan is a disaster, avoiding responsibilities and punishing people fleeing conflict and persecution.

"The Prime Minister must clean up the mess made by the Home Secretary and her predecessor and create safe routes."