The United Kingdom is facing a landmark decision in its asylum policy. The British government’s controversial proposal to send asylum seekers to Rwanda will soon be reviewed by the UK’s highest court, the Supreme Court. This plan, backed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, aims to outsource asylum procedures to the East African country.
Supreme Court decides on Rwanda deportation flights
The legitimacy of this project, which affects asylum seekers regardless of their origin, is up for debate. The British judiciary has already expressed different views on this issue. While the High Court found the plan to be legally compliant, the Court of Appeal rejected this decision and did not declare Rwanda a safe third country for asylum procedures. The Supreme Court’s ruling, which is expected on Wednesday, is therefore considered decisive.
Rwanda measure is intended to serve as a deterrent
With the Rwanda plan, Sunak’s government aims to reduce irregular immigration, particularly across the English Channel. Despite a decline in numbers compared to last year, the fulfillment of the government’s promise to stop boat arrivals remains uncertain. The plan to send asylum applications directly to Rwanda without checking them met with strong international criticism, including from the United Nations refugee agency and the English bishops.
Potential impact of the ruling
A ruling against the plan could lead to calls in Britain to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). This convention was an integral part of the Court of Appeal’s reasoning. If the ruling is positive for the government, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg remains the last hope for opponents of the plan.
How does Germany react?
The British government’s actions are also being followed closely in Germany as it could influence the debate about asylum policy. The federal government is already considering examining asylum procedures outside Europe. While SPD Prime Ministers can imagine a preliminary examination of asylum applications, a plan similar to that in Great Britain is not being discussed in Germany. Italy, meanwhile, has concluded an agreement with Albania to allow asylum procedures to be carried out there.