A fresh attempt to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda is likely in the coming weeks despite Boris Johnson’s promise to make no “major” decisions.
The outgoing prime minister’s spokesman said the move would fall under “existing policy” – which is allowed, despite his resignation and “caretaker” status.
Asked if a flight is possible even before this month’s judicial review into the legality of the controversial policy”, he told The Independent: “It is.”
“Operation preparations for future flights have begun,” he said, after the European Court of Human Rights thwarted the government’s first bid to begin deportations.
“Convention does not prevent or preclude the government from seeking to pursue existing policy and that would include defending cases in court.”
After Mr Johnson faced down Tory demands to leave No 10 immediately, he appeared to have his wings clipped by his new cabinet, which some members joined only on “conditions”.
Downing Street stated he had “made clear the government would not seek to implement new policies or make major changes of direction”, at the cabinet’s first meeting.
Plans for a big economy speech on Monday – to announce tax cuts – have been abandoned, as has the intention to bring back regular Downing Street press conferences.
But the spokesman reserved the need to “react to emerging issues”, when asked about the volatile economic picture and the threat of supply shocks or rising energy prices.
But he cautioned: “We do have significant support already in place for the global cost of living pressures that we are seeing, including measures which have not yet been introduced.”
The biggest decision in the two weeks before MPs leave Westminster for their summer recess is likely to be on public sector pay – where recommendations from independent review bodies are being considered.
The bill to tear up the Northern Ireland Protocol, in breach of international law legal experts say, will continue its Commons progress next week.
The spokesman also confirmed Mr Johnson has rejected calls, including from John Major, to step aside to allow his deputy Dominic Raab to be the caretaker.
“The prime minister is acting in line with convention,” he said. “He remains prime minister until a new party leader is in place and the work of government will continue while that takes place.”
More ministerial appointments will be made on Friday and are expected to “broadly” fill all of about 20 vacancies left by the mass exodus of ministers this week.