• Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Rwanda ruling crucial for Sunak, says think tank

The five senior judges, including the court’s president Robert Reed, will deliver their decision on Wednesday morning.

By: Pramod Thomas

THE Supreme Court ruling on the government’s Rwanda scheme to deport people seeking asylum in the UK to the African nation is crucial for prime minister Rishi Sunak, said independent migration Think tank British Future.

The top court will deliver its ruling on Wednesday (15) on whether the government can go ahead with its plan.

“The prime minister has a lot riding on Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision. He has argued that Rwanda is how he will meet his pledge to ‘stop the boats’. Nobody can predict the outcome with any certainty. Some argue that the decision taking less time than anticipated – one month rather than two – makes it more likely the Court of Appeal decision against the Rwanda scheme is being upheld. That would be legally less complex than remaking it,” said Sunder Katwala, director of British Future.

“If the government loses there will be loud calls, led by Suella Braverman and her allies, for the UK to leave the European Convention on Human Rights. But this week’s reshuffle sends a strong signal that the prime minister does not agree.”

According to Katwala, Sunak may send new foreign secretary David Cameron abroad to try to renegotiate the terms of the UK’s participation.

“That is a way to explore what can be done within the UK’s membership – but few would expect it to yield any rapid results before the general election,” he said.

The Think tank has highlighted that if the government wins the case, proving the viability of the scheme will pose a more significant challenge.

“Rwanda’s asylum system can only take up to one per cent of those who have come to Britain this year: that is a major practical hurdle, on top of the arguments against the scheme in principle. So the government will have to acknowledge that most of those who have come to the UK this year will have to be admitted to the UK asylum system, so their claims can be heard – despite the political promises to bar them,” Katwala added.

The government has suffered a number of major defeats in the Supreme Court in recent years, most notably when it found former prime minister Boris Johnson had acted illegally when he suspended parliament in 2019.

Related Stories