Tory Rwanda plan unlawful

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Care4Calais campaigners marching to defend asylum rights

THE TORY plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda was yesterday dismissed by the Supreme Court, ending over 18 months of legal battles in the UK.

Lord Reed announced the ‘unanimous’ judgment from the court’s five justices saying those sent to the country would be at ‘real risk’ of being returned home, whether their grounds to claim asylum were justified or not – breaching international law.

PM Sunak said he intends to ‘change laws’ to get his way regardless of international law.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Sunak said: ‘The government has already been working in advance on a new treaty with Rwanda which we will finalise in light of today’s judgment to address the challenges that were raised.

‘But let me say this again, if it becomes clear that our domestic legal frameworks or international conventions are still frustrating plans at that point, I am prepared to change laws and revisit those international relationships.’

Steve Smith, CEO of the refugee charity Care4Calais, said: ‘The Supreme Court’s judgement is a victory for humanity.

‘This grubby cash for people deal was always cruel and immoral, but, most importantly, it’s unlawful.

‘Hundreds of millions of pounds have been spent on this cruel policy and the only receipts the government has are the pain and torment inflicted on the thousands of survivors of war, torture and modern slavery they have targeted with it.

‘The responsibility for the trauma, the incidences of self-harm and the attempted suicides this policy has caused, today lies as a great weight on the shoulders of every government minister who has supported it.

‘Today’s judgement should bring this shameful mark on the UK’s history to a close.

‘Never again should our government seek to shirk our country’s responsibility to offer sanctuary to those caught up in horrors around the world.

‘All the architects of the Rwanda plan may be gone but, unless the government changes course and introduces a policy of safe passage, then the rest should follow them out the door. There can be no more time wasted attacking the vulnerable when all they seek is our help.’