A Critical Moment for UK’s Asylum Policy
In a significant development, the UK Supreme Court has unanimously declared the government’s policy of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda illegal. This ruling marks a substantial setback for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s administration, which had banked on this strategy as a key measure to curb illegal migration.
Responding to this development, Rishi Sunak has scheduled an emergency press conference at Downing Street. The conference, set for 4.45pm today, is expected to address the government’s stance following this ruling. Home Secretary James Cleverly is also poised to present a statement in the House of Commons.
This judgement comes amid a tumultuous week for the government, which saw former Home Secretary Suella Braverman criticise Sunak for not effectively addressing the issue of illegal boat crossings. Braverman specifically accused Sunak of rejecting her suggested approaches, including distancing from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Human Rights Act, considering them crucial for the successful implementation of the Rwanda agreement.
The Supreme Court’s decision highlights concerns over Rwanda’s human rights record and media and political freedoms. Lord Reed, delivering the judgement, emphasised the necessity of a thorough examination of asylum seekers’ claims before their deportation. The ruling hinged on whether there were substantial grounds to believe that deportees to Rwanda faced a real risk of ill-treatment in their countries of origin.
Reacting to the verdict, Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg noted this as a “real test” for the government, urging legislation to address the hurdles posed by the ruling.
The decision has been hailed as a “victory for reason and compassion” by Sonya Sceats, the chief executive of Freedom from Torture. She praised the Supreme Court for upholding the UK’s legal and moral obligations towards asylum seekers.
As the country awaits Sunak’s address, this ruling undeniably positions the government at a crossroads, compelling it to rethink its strategies on migration and human rights. Story Source