Supreme Court says government plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful | Politics News

The government’s Rwanda plan, devised to tackle illegal migration, has been dismissed by the Supreme Court, ending over 18 months of legal battles in UK courts.

Lord Reed announced his judgment in the Supreme Court on the deportation scheme, which would see those arriving in the UK illegally – including via small boats – deported to the east African nation.

It had been announced by Boris Johnson in April 2022. He and successive prime ministers all claimed the policy would act as a deterrent to those seeking to cross the Channel, as well as help to break up people-smuggling gangs.

Lord Reed pointed out that the Supreme Court is “required to decide” whether the policy is “lawful” – adding that it is a “legal question” and the court is “not concerned with the political debate” about the scheme.

He said the basis of the decision was made on international law. This includes the European Convention on Human Rights, but also various UN treaties.

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Refugee charities have consistently called the proposal “inhumane” and said it breaks human rights laws, while opposition parties have deemed the plan a “gimmick”.

An injunction from the European Court of Human Rights stopped the first flight to Rwanda from taking off in June last year and the scheme has been embroiled in litigation ever since, meaning no asylum seekers have yet been deported to the country.

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