The High Court in London has found the British government's plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda lawful. The government says the plan is intended to discourage incoming migrants in the UK through “illegal, dangerous or unnecessary methods”.
The interior minister, Suella Braverman, said she wanted to immediately start large-scale movements of people who entered British territory illegally on the basis of the sentence issued by the High Court, without specifying, however, a start date. “We have always maintained that this policy is lawful and the High Court has upheld this. Our innovative migration partnership with Rwanda will provide relocated people with the support to build a new life there, disrupting the business model that puts lives at risk through dangerous illegal small boat crossings.”.
The government's plan for Rwanda has been deemed legal but that does not mean that flights can proceed immediately. Furthermore, the circumstances of eight asylum seekers identified for expatriation were not adequately considered.
Judge Clive Lewis said: "we have concluded that it is permissible for the government to make arrangements for asylum seekers to be relocated to Rwanda and for their asylum claims to be determined in Rwanda rather than the UK" adding, furthermore, that "the court's role, however, is only to ensure that the law is properly understood and observed and that the rights guaranteed by parliament are respected."1. He then added that the plan does not violate the UN Refugee Convention or human rights laws.
La shadow home secretary (shadow interior minister, ed), Yvette Cooper, criticizing the government's decision to go ahead with the plans, argued “instead of gaining control, the government is pursuing an unworkable, immoral and extortionate scheme that could make trafficking worse”.
Alison Thewliss, Scottish National Party spokeswoman on home affairs in the House of Commons, said her party would never support the government's plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda describing the policy as "state-sponsored trafficking in people".
Boris Johnson tweeted: “It is good news that the High Court has ruled that Rwandan policy is lawful. It is one of the few humane ways to deal with the cowardly trafficking gangs who exploit so many people.”. New premier Rishi Sunak said he welcomed the High Court's ruling, calling it one "common sense position" and that this migration policy is supported by "overwhelming majority of Britons".
The court's decision is interpreted by supporters of the law both as a way that allows the policy to transfer some asylum seekers to another country, to have their requests processed there, and as a correct establishment of the partnership with Rwanda.
However, the day when flights will be able to leave for Africa still seems to be far off. There will most likely be several appeals which may lead to delays in the business.
Photo: MoD UK