UK deportation flight to Rwanda can go on, high court judge rules

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A high court judge has ruled that a controversial deportation flight to Rwanda that was due to take off early next week can go on.Mr Justice Swift declined to grant interim relief-- urgent action in response to an injunction application made by numerous asylum seekers dealing with offshoring to Rwanda.

Legal representatives acting for the asylum candidates and the groups had actually argued the policy was illegal and sought the urgent injunction to stop next week's prepared flight and any other such flights ahead of a full hearing of the case later in the year.

The decision will not stop private refugees from further legal difficulties to their removal to Rwanda, or a judicial review of the policy, which Swift said might take six weeks.

He supported submissions made by the home secretary, Priti Patel, and rejected the application to stop the Rwanda flight next Tuesday, but granted permission to the plaintiffs to appeal-- suggesting court of appeal judges would hear the case on Monday.

Swift said there was a "material public interest" in permitting the secretary of state to be able to execute migration control decisions. He likewise said that a few of the risks of sending out asylum hunters to Rwanda described by the complaintants were really small and "in the realms of speculation".

Patel will see this as a substantial victory following concern that the offshoring strategy would be stopped in the courts.

The government has claimed that the strategy is created to discourage migrants from making unsafe Channel crossings and to break the business model of people smugglers.

The home secretary invited the court's decision, stating: "People will continue to try and avoid their moving through legal obstacles and last-minute claims but we will not be deterred in breaking the deadly people-smuggling trade and ultimately save lives."

Boris Johnson likewise invited the judgment, saying: "We can not permit human traffickers to put lives at risk and our world leading partnership will help break the business model of these ruthless lawbreakers."

The scheme has supposedly been criticised in private by Prince Charles. According to the Times, the Prince of Wales was heard calling the policy "appalling" and was especially displeased as to represent the UK at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, later on this month.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said: "The UNHCR criticism of Priti Patel's Rwanda plan today is damning-- warning about absence of correct treatment for refugees in Rwanda and likewise accusing the home secretary of deceptive people on UN assistance for the scheme.

" Labour has actually explained from the start that Priti Patel's Rwanda strategy is totally impracticable, extortionately pricey, dishonest and profoundly un-British."

The choice will not stop private asylum applicants from further legal obstacles to their removal to Rwanda and a judicial review of the policy, which Swift said might take 6 weeks.In his judgment, Swift likewise rejected interim relief to two people who deal with removal to Rwanda. "I accept that the truth of removal to Rwanda will be burdensome," the judge stated.

6 out of eight of the asylum seekers dealing with offshoring to Rwanda had their removal directions postponed by the end of Friday's hearing. Swift accepted that a few of the points made by the complaintants were arguable and would be aired at a full hearing in July. He said the points about the home secretary's decision being unreasonable or based upon insufficient query were feasible. Nevertheless he stated the claimants case was not 'conspicuously strong'.

Swift added that although the memorandum of understanding in between UK and Rwanda was not legally enforceable it was appropriate to take its contents into account.

The asylum seekers applied for the injunction alongside the charities Care4Calais and Detention Action, in addition to the civil servants union PCS, which represents many Home Office workers, consisting of more than 80% of Border Force personnel.

The plan to offshore asylum candidates and contract out the refugee obligations of the UK, one of the richest countries in the world, to Rwanda-- amongst the poorest-- has actually been controversial since it was revealed by government on 14 April. About 30 asylum seekers, currently being held in migration detention centres, are due to be flown there from a secret area in the UK by a concealed airline on Tuesday.

It is the first of several legal obstacles to the policy to have a live high court hearing.The specific elements of the policy under difficulty in court were the right of the home secretary to perform such removals; the rationality of Patel's claim that Rwanda is generally a "safe 3rd nation"; the adequacy of provision for malaria prevention in Rwanda; and whether it adheres to the Human Rights Act.

Sonya Sceats, chief executive of Freedom from Torture, said the charity was disappointed by the ruling. "But the battle is far from over," she said. "Caring people throughout Britain are incensed that this government wishes to send people looking for security midway across the world and are acting."

PCS stated they would press on with an appeal that will be heard on Monday. Mark Serwotka, the general secretary, stated the result was "frustrating" and required immediate talks with Patel over how the removals will be performed.

Enver Solomon, president of the Refugee Council, said: "We have currently had to directly step in to stop young people being deported to Rwanda because they were incorrectly assessed as grownups. We fear this is a threat to much more young people who are being wrongly kept in detention, putting them at great risk.

" These are vulnerable people and scared children who are alone, much of whom have carried out dangerous journeys to come to the UK in hope of security. Nobody risks their own, or family's, life unless they are running from risks more severe than they face on these journeys.

" The government should assess the initial failures of this plan, and reassess by aiming to operating an organized, gentle, and fair asylum system."

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