Sunak’s Rwanda deportation hopes suffer another blow

Rishi Sunak UK Prime Minister

Boris’s pledge on migration numbers ignored by Rishi Credit: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak has today, May 16, had a second knockback in implementing his government’s proposed policy of deporting failed asylum seekers to Rwanda.  

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has again refused to allow to give the go-ahead for flights carrying failed asylum seekers to Rwanda, as Sunak pushed for reform of existing human rights laws. But there is little appetite for this.

Iceland’s foreign minister, as reported in the Independent said that the Council of Europe, which oversees the ECGR, would not be used to reform human rights laws, they are in fact very keen to keep them exactly as they are.

It is the laws which prevented the UK government from a first attempt at a Rwanda deportation last year. It is now thought that Mr Sunak will go directly to the UCHR president Síofra O’Leary, next week and attempt to convince her.

Rishi Sunak hopes to apply a higher threshold for those seeking an ECHR Rule 39 injunction against deportation and also seeks to give countries such as the UK the right to appeal an injunction.

Sunak and his Government believe that they have some leverage in this area and that the EHCR are at least open to discussion. And for the current Conservative Government, it is the route they will need to take to implement their Illegal Migration Bill.

The bill seeks to send migrants who arrive by unauthorised routes to the UK – small boats included – either back to their place of origin or to Rwanda. It has been a controversial policy so far, with previous incidents of violence against refugees. In 2018, 10 Congolese refugees were shot dead by police.

It is yet to be seen if representatives of the UK Government have any real traction in their negotiations with the European Court of Human Rights. But one Dutch senator, Tiny Kox, said that if the Conservative Government did want to abide by international law the UK may end up like Russia. He was quoted in the Guardian as saying:

“I think the British government knows there is no opt-out of your European court of human rights, which has been signed and ratified decades ago and which has brought a lot of good things to Britain’s judicial system and the protection of its citizens.”

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Written by

David Laycock

Dave Laycock has always written. Poems, songs, essays, academic papers as well as newspaper articles; the written word has always held a great fascination for him and he is never happier than when being creative. From a musical background, Dave has travelled the world performing and also examining for a British music exam board. He also writes, produces and performs and records music. All this aside, he is currently fully focussed on his journalism and can’t wait to share more stories from around the world and beyond.