Rwanda Asylum Seeker Deportation Plan Ruled Unlawful By Court Of Appeal

The decision is a blow to home secretary Suella Braverman.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Suella Braverman’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda has been ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal.

The government scheme is designed to help Rishi Sunak fulfil his pledge to “stop the boats” crossing the channel.

But the policy has faced legal challenges from campaign groups who have warned Rwanda is not a safe third country for people to be sent.

In its ruling on Thursday, the court agreed. It said this was not because Rwanda itself was unsafe. But because there was “real risk” people deported to Rwanda from the UK would then be sent back to their home county where they faced “persecution or other inhumane treatment”.

Last year the High Court dismissed attempts to block the government plan, but the charity Asylum Aid as well as some individuals were give the go ahead to appeal.

Today’s decision is unlikely to be the end of the road for the scheme however, as it is likely to go to the Supreme Court.

Sonya Sceats, the chief executive of Freedom from Torture, said the ruling was “a victory for reason and compassion”.

“We are delighted that the appeal verdict has affirmed what the caring people of this country already knew: the UK government’s ‘cash for humans’ deal with Rwanda is not only deeply immoral, it flies in the face of the laws of this country,” she said.

Yvette Cooper, Labour’s shadow home secretary, said the ruling showed the Rwanda scheme was “unworkable, unethical and extortionate”.

“Time and again, ministers have gone for gimmicks instead of getting a grip, and slogans instead of solutions, while the Tory boats chaos has got worse,” she said.

Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said Braverman should now ditch the “immoral, ineffective and incredibly costly” policy. “The home secretary needs to finally accept reality,” he said.

“Instead of wasting even more taxpayer money by defending this plan in the courts, the home secretary should scrap her vanity project and focus on tackling the asylum backlog created by her own government’s incompetence.”

The policy was initially proposed by Priti Patel when she was home secretary during Boris Johnson’s time in No.10.

But no deportation flights have been able to take off given multiple legal challenges.

A recent YouGov poll showed 56% of people did not think any asylum seekers would ever be deported under the plan.


What's Hot