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British Court of Appeal Deems Rishi Sunak’s Plan to Deport Asylum Seekers to Rwanda Unlawful

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak‘s strategy to prevent asylum seekers from arriving in small boats across the Channel faced a significant setback on Thursday as the Court of Appeal ruled against his proposal to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Sunak
(Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / POOL / AFP)

Last year, a preliminary agreement worth £140 million ($177 million) was established, outlining Britain’s intention to transport tens of thousands of asylum seekers, who arrived on its shores from over 4,000 miles (6,400 km) away, to the East African nation.

Sunak’s Plan to Deport Asylum Seekers to Rwanda Unlawful

Critics argue that this policy is both inhumane and ineffective. On Thursday, the Court of Appeal reached a majority decision, with two judges opposing one, determining that Rwanda could not be considered a safe third country.

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“We are thrilled that the Court of Appeal has affirmed our stance that Rwanda is not a safe destination for individuals seeking asylum and that they will not be sent there,” expressed Alison Pickup, the director of Asylum Aid, a campaign group involved in the case, during a press briefing.

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This ruling serves as a major blow to Sunak, who is currently grappling with challenges such as soaring inflation, increasing interest rates, and dwindling public support. He faces mounting pressure from his own party and the general public to address the mounting number of asylum seekers, which costs the nation £3 billion annually to accommodate.

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Sunak has designated “stop the boats” as one of his top five priorities and hopes that a decline in arrivals will contribute to an unexpected victory for his Conservative Party in the forthcoming national election.