Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said that the policy of taking asylum seekers to Rwanda is "completely moral" as the first one is set to take off today.

The scheme of sending asylum seekers who cross the Channel in small boats to the African country has received much criticism from campaigners and human rights groups.

They have questioned whether Rwanda is safe for asylum seekers, while others have argued that the policy is unfair as it does not give them enough time to access legal aid and appeal for the right to stay in the UK.

Speaking on Sky News today, Mrs Truss said it was key to establish the policy to “break the model of the people traffickers” adding “we want to stop these costs both in monetary cost but also in human misery”.

Mrs Truss was also questioned about the criticism of the policy that had come in from the Church of England.

The National Wales: Demonstrators protest outside the Home Office in London against plans to send migrants to Rwanda (Dominic Lipinski/PA)Demonstrators protest outside the Home Office in London against plans to send migrants to Rwanda (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Asked about criticism from senior bishops, she said: “I don’t agree with that, the people who are immoral in this case are the people traffickers trading in human misery.

“Those people need to suggest an alternative policy that will work. Our policy is completely legal, it’s completely moral.

“What I’m saying to the critics of the policy who don’t have an alternative about how we deal with this illegal migration, is they don’t have an alternative, they are criticising our policy which is effective and does work.”

Campaign groups say the UK Government could easily establish safe and legal routes for asylum seekers who can find they are unable to enter the UK via conventional transport without a visa.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, Guli Francis-Dehqani, who came to the UK as an asylum seeker in 1980, has spoken of her opposition to deporting those who arrive in the UK to Rwanda.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It means that in the end this country won’t take responsibility in what is effectively a global problem, as one of the wealthiest countries, that we won’t take our fair share of the responsibility.

“And I also think, chiefly, that those who have been traumatised, who have been desperate enough to get on a small boat and cross the channel, who have put themselves in danger, and have arrived in this country should at the very least have the human dignity of having their cases heard."

The first flight to Rwanda is expected to depart the UK on Tuesday evening and just seven people are due to be on board, after a number were removed from the scheduled flight following legal challenges and reviews by the Home Office. A number of individual challenges are being heard by the courts throughout today.