The Supreme Court has delivered a significant setback to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s controversial Rwanda deportation scheme, dealing a blow to his plans to curb Channel crossings.
The court unanimously upheld a previous High Court judgment on legislation introduced 18 months ago, which aimed to send asylum seekers arriving in the UK through unauthorized means to Kigali for claims processing.
Legal Blow and Political Fallout
The ruling is a major setback for Sunak’s government, particularly after former Home Secretary Suella Braverman warned that the lack of a credible Plan B could jeopardize efforts to control illegal migrations. The defeat not only exacerbates the ongoing challenges in halting Channel crossings but also intensifies the political rift within Downing Street.
Options and Controversies
Despite the court’s decision, government ministers are determined to pursue the Rwanda scheme. Options include elevating the deal to a treaty ratified in parliament or passing emergency legislation to disapply human rights laws, challenging the judiciary’s influence.
The controversy surrounding the policy has reignited discussions on leaving the European Convention on Human Rights.
Humanitarian Concerns and Reactions
In a summary of the judgment, President of the Supreme Court Lord Reed expressed concerns about the risk of genuine asylum seekers being returned to their home countries by Rwanda.
Human rights advocates celebrated the ruling, with charities like Freedom from Torture and Care4Calais calling the deal “deeply immoral” and “unlawful.”
Braverman’s Warning and Sunak’s Dilemma
Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who was recently dismissed, issued a scathing letter to the Prime Minister, emphasizing the lack of a credible Plan B.
The letter highlighted potential betrayal and accused Sunak of “magical thinking” for not preparing an alternative strategy.
Continued Challenges and Government Response
Downing Street remains committed to tackling small boat crossings, with the Prime Minister’s office asserting their determination “whatever the outcome.” While leaving the European Convention on Human Rights was not discussed in the recent Cabinet meeting, contingency plans are in place for various scenarios.
Supreme Court Judges and Future Implications
The ruling came from five Supreme Court justices, including President Lord Reed and Deputy President Lord Hodge.
The judgment marks a pivotal moment in the legal battle over the Rwanda deportation policy, setting the stage for potential changes in the government’s approach to migration and asylum.
Timeline: The Rwanda Scheme’s Legal Odyssey
The Supreme Court judgment concludes a legal saga that unfolded over 18 months since the announcement of the Rwanda deportation policy.
The timeline highlights key events, legal battles, and the ongoing Channel migrant crisis, providing context to the recent ruling.
Rwanda Scheme, Supreme Court Ruling, Channel Crossings, Asylum Policy, Political Fallout