UK ministers’ efforts to revive Rwanda policy likely to fail, lawyers say
Government accused of ‘magical thinking’ and ignoring facts:
Lawyers have said that UK ministers’ latest plans to get their high-profile Rwanda policy off the ground are unlikely to overcome the legal obstacles that defeated them in the supreme court on Wednesday.
After the five judges unanimously rejected the government’s plans to deport people seeking asylum in the UK to the east African country, Rishi Sunak said that he would ensure the flights could go ahead by legislating that Rwanda was safe.
The UK prime minister also said he would create a new treaty with Rwanda guaranteeing that people deported there from the UK would not be returned to their home countries, a process known as refoulement, the risk of which lay at the heart of the supreme court’s dismissal of the government’s appeal.
But lawyers have said such changes would not achieve Sunak’s aim of ending what he called the legal “merry-go-round” and would be likely still to fall foul of courts.
Curiously Sunak’s response to defeat in the UK Supreme Court was to say he wouldn’t let any foreign courts stop the plan and then to say he was going to change the law with new primary legislation - which most observers seem to agree means there is no real possibility of any resolution before the general election.
One way to read this is that the government doesn’t really want the Rwanda scheme to go ahead because it’s a rubbish scheme which wouldn’t make a real dent even if it was workable - if it succeeds it will fail. But crucially keeping it rumbling along also means they can keep on picking a fight with lefty lawyers and foreign courts. My worry is that it allows them to maintain the narrative about how the poor lambs are being thwarted by the wokerati, so they need to repeal the Human Rights Act and withdraw from the ECHR (and other international treaties).