Supreme Court rules UK Government’s Rwanda asylum policy is unlawful
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Rwanda asylum policy is unlawful, in a major blow for Rishi Sunak’s promise to “stop the boats”.
Justices at the UK’s highest court rejected the Government’s appeal over its policy of removing asylum seekers to the east African nation if they arrive by unauthorised means.
Flights forcibly removing migrants to Kigali are unlikely to take place any time soon after the ruling on the flagship policy that has been stalled by more than a year of legal challenges.
In a summary of the judgment read out by Supreme Court President Lord Reed on Wednesday, the justices found there would be a risk of genuine asylum seekers being returned by Rwanda to the home country from where they fled.
The flagship asylum policy was first announced by Boris Johnson back in April 2020, but not a single migrant has been removed to Kigali after a series of legal challenges.
Mr Sunak will deliver his verdict on the ruling at Prime Minister’s Questions, before new Home Secretary James Cleverly gives further details.
Suella Braverman warned after her sacking as home secretary that there is no “credible Plan B” if the Supreme Court rejects the Government appeal.
In a unanimous decision by the five top justices, they agreed the High Court was entitled to rule that there is “substantial” grounds to believe there is a “real risk” of refugees being returned home.
But Lord Reed made clear the judgment was only on the current risk in Rwanda and said that the changes needed to reduce the risk “may be delivered in the future”.
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