Major victory for Government as High Court rules Rwanda migrant policy IS lawful

A group of people thought to be migrants arriving illegally in an inflatable boat at Kingsdown beach, near Dover, Kent, after crossing the English Channel. Source: PA

High Court’s decision is a major victory for the Government after months of uncertainty over the scheme’s legality.

The Government’s policy to send migrants to Rwanda to claim asylum is lawful, the High Court has ruled today.

Several challenges were brought against the proposals announced by then-home secretary Priti Patel earlier this year which she described as a “world-first agreement” with the east African nation in a bid to deter migrants from crossing the Channel from France to the UK.

On news of the High Court’s ruling Ms Patel tweeted: “Ministers must now press ahead with implementing this world-leading Partnership with the resources I put in place.”

The first deportation flight which Ms Patel arranged was due to take off on June 14 but was grounded after lefty lawyers went on the offensive and wheeled out an arsenal of legalistic obstructionism against individual removals and the policy as a whole.

The European Court of Human Rights then granted an urgent injunction blocking the flight’s take off, just hours after the UK Supreme Court had rejected the plea.

However, at the High Court in London today (Monday), senior judges rejected arguments that the plans were unlawful.

The High Court’s ruling today says the policy which would involve the UK sending tens of thousands of migrants who arrive on our shores illegally more than 4,000 miles away to Rwanda, is completely within the law.

Under the government’s world-leading Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda the migrants sent there would receive a generous support package, including up to five years of training, accommodation and healthcare on arrival.

Under the partnership deal, the UK said it will also invest an initial £120 million into the economic development and growth of Rwanda.

People who have taken dangerous, unnecessary, and illegal journeys, including crossing the Channel, would be among those selected to be relocated there.

Delivering the judgement after a five-day hearing, Lord Justice Lewis said:

“The Government’s proposal to relocate asylum seekers to Rwanda has been the subject of considerable public debate.
“The role of the court is only to ensure that the law is properly understood and observed and that rights guaranteed by Parliament are respected.
“We have concluded that it is lawful for the Government to make arrangements for relocating asylum seekers to Rwanda and for their asylum claims to be determined in Rwanda rather than the UK.
“On the evidence before this court, the Government has made arrangements with the Government of Rwanda which are intended to ensure that the asylum claims of people relocated to Rwanda are properly determined in Rwanda.
“In those circumstances, the relocation of asylum seekers to Rwanda is consistent with the Refugee Convention and other legal obligations on the Government including the obligations imposed by the Human Rights Act 1998.”

Last year, the number of illegal migrants making the hazardous journey to the UK reached a record 28,500, and according to official figures so far this year more than 40,000 people have already crossed the English Channel from safe country France in small boats.

The partnership with Rwanda forms part of the government’s response to overhaul the asylum system – which is currently costing the UK taxpayer £1.5 billion a year – to create a fair but firm immigration system.


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