London court says government plan to deport migrants to Rwanda lawful

The London High Court on Monday ruled that a controversial British government plan to deport migrants to Rwanda is lawful, after charities and asylum-seekers thwarted flights through legal challenges. 

After the court’s ruling, Rwanda Government Spokesperson Yolande Makolo told AFP, “We welcome this decision and stand ready to offer asylum seekers and migrants safety and the opportunity to build a new life in Rwanda.” 

Makolo described it as a “positive step” to solving the global migration crisis. 

Under a deal struck in April under the then Boris Johnson government, the UK plans to send tens of thousands of illegal migrants to Rwanda. 

As per Reuters the first flight under the deal was planned for June this year but it was blocked by a last-minute injunction from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The strategy’s legality was also challenged by a judicial review at London High Court. 

Watch | UK sees record migrant crossings despite Rwanda plan

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has staked his future on stopping the record number of migrants that arrive on Britain’s shores in small boats. In one of his first major policy announcements, Sunak had set out a plan to clamp down on these illegal immigrants. 

The PM had expressed his desire to restart the flights in spite of opposition from other lawmakers, the United Nations and even the monarch King Charles. 

However, the flights cannot be restarted straight away as further appeals could be filed challenging the verdict. Moreover, the ECHR injunction also bars any immediate deportations until a legal conclusion is reached in the country. 

As per polls, immigration has become a major issue in the UK, rising up to the position of the third most important issue for voters. This comes as the nation experiences a record 40,000 arrivals this year. 

However, opponents of the policy have termed it inhumane as Rwanda the destination country has a shady human rights record, and asylum seekers, and their lawyers contest that the UK government’s plans do not comply with human rights conventions. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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