uk government has decided to appeal against the decision against the asylum agreement with rwanda
A British court ruled on Thursday that a plan by the United Kingdom government to send asylum-seekers on a one-way trip to Rwanda is unlawful. This decision dealt a blow to the pledge made by the Conservative administration to prevent migrants from making dangerous journeys across the English Channel.
David Cantor, a specialist in refugee law, predicted that the decision would “send a ripple effect more widely through this idea of sending asylum seekers to third countries.”
Cantor, who is the director of the Refugee Law Initiative at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, stated that “any country that might wish to enter into this kind of memorandum with the government of the United Kingdom, as Rwanda did, would equally be quite likely to be a government that had weak asylum procedures, (where) there were questions about safety in the country.” Rwanda was the first country to sign such a memorandum.
According to what he had to say, the United Kingdom “has had negotiations with many countries which do have robust court structures and asylum procedures, and there’s very little willingness there to contemplate these sorts of schemes.”
Three judges from the Court of Appeal came to the conclusion that Rwanda could not be regarded as a “safe third country” where migrants from any country could be sent. The judges’ ruling was divided two to one.
However, the judges stated that a policy of deporting asylum seekers to another country that was deemed as safe was not illegal in and of itself, and the government stated that it would challenge the ruling at the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
It can file an appeal until July 6 at the latest.
Even if it turns out that the plan can be executed legally, it is not clear how many people will be able to be sent to Rwanda.
According to the government’s own analysis, it would be extremely pricey, coming in at an estimated total of 169,000 pounds ($214,000) per person.
However, it is doubling down on the concept by drafting legislation that will make it illegal for anyone who arrives in the United Kingdom in small boats or by any other illegal means to apply for asylum in the country.
If the bill were to become law, the government would be required to detain all new arrivals of this kind and send them back to their country of origin or to a third nation considered to be safe.
On Thursday, the Home Secretary of the United Kingdom criticised a decision made by a senior judge who deemed it “unlawful” for the government to make plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Suella Braverman, while giving a speech in London, stated that she was “disappointed” with the decision that was made by the Court of Appeal. She also stated that both she and the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak did not agree with the judgement.
More than a year ago, the government reached an agreement with Rwanda whereby certain migrants who enter the United Kingdom as stowaways or on small boats would be sent on a one-way trip to Rwanda where their asylum claims would be processed; if the claims were successful, the migrants would remain in the East African nation rather than returning to Britain.
The plan is a significant component of the government’s initiative to fulfil its pledge to “stop the boats.” The government has high hopes that the plan will dissuade individuals from attempting to cross the channel, which will in turn put an end to the activities of criminal organisations that charge exorbitant fees to transport individuals across the waters.
Braverman stated that the issue was “out of control,” arguing that 45,000 people had “arrived here illegally last year,” at a cost to the British taxpayer of “£6 million ($7.5 million) a day in hotel accommodation.”
“We have to make some adjustments to the system. We have to revise our legal system. “The boats are going to be stopped using this method,” she explained.
Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition Labour party, made these statements while speaking in Selby. He claimed that the government had “broken the system,” and he referred to the Rwanda scheme as “a gimmick.”
“Only 1% of those who arrived by small boats have had their claims processed and so the Government got no plan,” he said. He went on to say that the scheme had “cost the taxpayer £140 million ($176 million), and nobody’s been removed.”
“Now we know, thanks to the court judgement this morning, that the Government didn’t even do the basics to make sure that it was fit for purpose,” he added. “Now we know from the judgement that the Government didn’t even do the basics.”
It is highly likely that the government will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.