Africa, Europe

British premier says he won’t allow European court to block migrant deportations to Rwanda

UK to pass new treaty declaring Rwanda a safe country, go ahead with controversial migrant deportation policy

Mehmet Solmaz  | 15.11.2023 - Update : 15.11.2023
British premier says he won’t allow European court to block migrant deportations to Rwanda


British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday said that he will pass an emergency law to declare Rwanda a safe country and that he would not let the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to block deportation flights.

In a news conference, hours after the UK Supreme Court ruled that the government's plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful, Sunak said he does not agree with the decision, but he “accepts it and respects it”.

According to the fresh plan, the government will agree on a new treaty with Rwanda and it will also introduce an emergency legislation. The legislation will assert that Rwanda is safe, he said.

Sunak said once this legislation is passed, he will not let the ECHR to stop flights to Rwanda.

“So let me tell everyone now – I will not allow a foreign court to block these flights. If the Strasbourg Court chooses to intervene against the express wishes of Parliament; I am prepared to do what is necessary to get flights off.”

The first deportation flight to Rwanda was cancelled at the last minute in June 2022, when the ECHR intervened.

Sunak said the new treaty will allow deportation flights to Rwanda to start in the spring of next year.

The controversial plan that seeks to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda while their claims are being assessed was ruled unlawful by the UK’s highest court, as they found the East African country is not a safe place for asylum seekers to be housed.

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