The UK government’s Rwanda policy and asylum strategy have suffered a significant setback as the Appeal Court has determined that the East African country is not sufficiently safe for the UK to send asylum seekers there.
The government’s controversial plan to relocate asylum seekers arriving in the country to Rwanda has been deemed unlawful. Judges at the Court of Appeal argued that Rwanda had not implemented enough safeguards to establish itself as a “safe third country.” Since the beginning of the year, over 11,000 individuals have crossed the English Channel in small boats. The Home Office currently spends nearly £7 million per day on hotel accommodations for housing asylum seekers.
The Prime Minister’s response to the ruling was filled with evident frustration, as he issued a statement expressing fundamental disagreement with the court’s decision. He insisted that Rwanda is a safe country and that the British government, not criminal organizations, should determine who enters the UK. The Home Secretary, who recently visited migrant accommodations in Rwanda, confirmed that the government intends to appeal the ruling.
“The system is rigged against British people, it’s as simple as that. That’s why we are changing the laws through our Illegal Migration Bill. That’s why we are rolling out a ground-breaking partnership with Rwanda, which we believe is lawful, with a country that we believe is safe. So we need to change the system, we need to change our laws. That’s how we’re going to stop the boats,” stated Suella Braverman.
The government believes that the threat of being forcibly deported to East Africa will dissuade people from illegally crossing the English Channel and entering the UK. However, the Home Office’s own impact assessment indicates little or no evidence supporting the effectiveness of this approach. Refugee agencies argue that today’s ruling highlights the need to abandon the entire illegal migration policy.
Rishi Sunak has prioritized halting the influx of individuals entering the UK by crossing the English Channel, and he has announced that the government will contest the ruling.
The government believes that only a fundamental shift will make a difference in curbing small boat arrivals. The Labor Party argues that the policy is unraveling and doubts that it will have the deterrent effect the government hopes for.