UK: Sunak kicks as court declares plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda unlawful

BRITISH Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces a setback as the Court of Appeal ruled against the government’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, deeming it unlawful.

The court’s decision deals a blow to Sunak’s commitment to halt asylum seekers’ arrival in small boats from France to England.

Under a 140-million-pound deal struck in 2022, the UK intended to send tens of thousands of asylum seekers arriving on its shores to Rwanda, which is over 4,000 miles away.

The government argued that this move would disrupt human traffickers’ business model, but critics opposed it, calling the policy inhumane and ineffective.

Reacting to the court ruling on Thursday, Prime Minister Sunak expressed disagreement with their conclusions and announced the government’s plan to challenge the decision in the UK Supreme Court.

“While I respect the court I fundamentally disagree with their conclusions,” Sunak said in a statement, adding that the government would seek to overturn the decision in the UK Supreme Court.

He emphasised that it is the UK government that should have control over who enters the country, not criminal gangs.

“The policy of this government is very simple. It is this country – and your government – that should decide who comes here, not criminal gangs,” Sunak stressed, vowing to take whatever measures necessary to achieve that objective.

The Court of Appeal, with a majority of two to one, concluded that Rwanda could not be considered a safe third country.

The Court ruled that deficiencies in Rwanda’s asylum system raised concerns about the possibility of those deported being returned to their home countries, where they could face persecution or inhumane treatment.

A planned deportation flight to Rwanda was previously blocked by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), imposing an injunction on deportations pending legal action in Britain.

In December, the High Court deemed the policy lawful, but the decision was challenged by asylum seekers from countries like Syria, Iraq, and Iran, as well as human rights organisations.

The ruling poses a significant challenge for Sunak, who is already dealing with issues like high inflation, rising interest rates, and decreasing public support.






     

     

    The “stop the boats” initiative, one of his top priorities, aims to reduce the number of asylum seekers, costing the government £3 billion annually for accommodation.

    Human rights campaigners celebrated the court’s decision, criticising the Rwanda policy as both unethical and ineffective.

    Meanwhile, the number of undocumented people entering Europe has surged this year due to ongoing conflicts, global inequality, and the climate crisis, exacerbating the migrant crisis across the continent.

    According to the UN’s refugee agency, over 36,000 individuals crossed the Mediterranean from January to March 2023, nearly doubling the figure from the same period in 2022.

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