Suella Braverman defends ‘compassionate’ and ‘rational’ deportation plan from Rwanda after court rules system legal

Suella Braverman has defended the government’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda after the High Court ruled earlier in the day that the plan was legal.

In a statement to the Commons, the Home Secretary said Rwandan politics is a “humane” and “practical alternative” for those who come to the UK through “dangerous, illegal and unnecessary means”.

“Being relocated to Rwanda is not a punishment, but an innovative way to solve a major problem to correct the imbalance between illegal and legal migration routes,” she told MPs.

Minister says UK is ‘full’ – follow latest policies

“It will also ensure that those who genuinely need international protection receive it in Rwanda.

“It is a humane and convenient alternative for those who come here through dangerous, illegal and unnecessary routes.

“By making it clear that they cannot expect to stay in the UK we will deter more people from coming here and make these routes unviable.”

Ms Braverman said the “overwhelming majority of the British people” want to see the government’s Rwanda deportation policy implemented, adding that the High Court decision “fully justifies the partnership with Rwanda”.

Earlier on Monday, Lord Justice Lewis said in his ruling that the controversial policy, introduced under Boris Johnson, was “in accordance with the refugee convention”.

However, he said the interior minister should consider people’s “special circumstances” before deporting them to the central African country.

The lead judge ruled that the first people to be sent to Rwanda had not had their situation “properly considered” by the person then in office, Priti Patel.

As a result, their cases would be referred to the current Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, “for her to reconsider”.

“Immoral and ineffective”

Responding to Ms Braverman in the Commons, Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said the government had “put forward an unworkable, unethical and hugely costly Rwandan plan that risks worsening trafficking”.

Ms Cooper added that the government must invest the money it spends in Rwanda’s plan to tackle criminal trafficking, “which puts lives at risk”.

The Liberal Democrats echoed that sentiment, with MP Alistair Carmichael saying it was ‘unethical, inefficient and incredibly costly for taxpayers’.

Meanwhile, charities and campaign groups have pledged to challenge the decision to ensure “people are treated with dignity and respect”.

The government announced its Rwandan policy in Aprilwhich would see some asylum seekers who arrived in the UK via small boats crossing the Channel deported back to the country to have their cases processed.

Ms Patel said it would help deter people from making the dangerous journey, but human rights campaigners, charities and opposition parties have condemned the plan as inhumane.

The first flight was due to take off in June with four people on board, but was halted after a number of legal challenges and the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the plan carried “a real risk of irreversible harm”.

However, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss insisted they continue the policy when they took the keys to Number 10.

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“Special Circumstances”

Eight people took their cases to the High Court to fight the decision to send them to Rwanda, giving the UK’s top judges the chance to speak out on overall policy, as well as individuals.

Their lawyers argued that the plans were illegal and that Rwanda “tortures and murders those it considers its opponents”.

But Home Office officials have argued that the agreement between the UK and the country ensures that anyone sent there will benefit from a “safe and efficient” refugee status determination procedure.

Refugee Council chief executive Enver Solomon said he was “disappointed” with the overall decision, saying it would “damage the UK’s reputation as a country that values ​​human rights”.

He added: “Treating people seeking safety as human cargo and shipping them to another country is a cruel policy that will cause great human suffering.

“The scheme is false in principle and unworkable in practice.”

Rwandan official hails ‘positive step’

Chief executive of migrant charity Choose Love, Josie Naughton, also said the court’s decision “runs counter to international commitments and accountability”.

She added that it would “tear families apart, prolong the persecution, and again endanger victims of torture and trauma.”

But the Rwandan government welcomed the decision, with spokeswoman Yolande Makolo saying: “We welcome this decision and stand ready to offer asylum seekers and migrants the safety and opportunity to build a new life in Rwanda. .

“This is a positive step in our quest to provide innovative and long-term solutions to the global migration crisis.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said he wanted to relaunch the plan “as soon as possible”, but with the prospect of further legal action it was “impossible” to say when a theft might take place.

“We welcome the court ruling that this policy is legal, as we have maintained throughout,” he added.

Lord Justice Lewis said a further hearing would be held in mid-January to deal with the consequences of the judgment, including costs and requests for referral to the Court of Appeal.

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