The UK government’s controversial plan to send asylum seekers who illegally entered the UK to Rwanda is legal. The British court decided this on Monday.
According to the High Court in London, “it is legal for the UK government to make arrangements to relocate asylum seekers to Rwanda and to have their asylum applications processed in Rwanda and not in the UK,” the ruling said. The arrangement does not conflict with the UN Refugee Convention; it is emphasized.
According to the court, evidence has been submitted that shows that the arrangement between the United Kingdom and Rwanda aims to process asylum applications in the African country properly, the British broadcaster BBC reports.
The controversial deal between the United Kingdom and Rwanda was announced in April by Priti Patel, then British Home Secretary. Migrants who arrive in the UK clandestinely via the English Channel can be sent to Rwanda under the agreement. There the asylum application can then be processed “offshore”. In return, Rwanda will receive more than 140 million euros. London hopes this way to stop the growing number of clandestine crossings of the Channel.
A first relocation flight, with eight migrants on board, should have taken place in June. But due to a series of complaints against the general measure and against the individual deportations, the plane was grounded as a last resort following an intervention by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
The British court has now brushed aside the objections to the Rwanda deal. The eight asylum seekers involved were ruled in the right. Their files were not handled properly, according to the verdict. Home Office will have to review their deportation.