London Thanasis Gavos

The British government will press ahead with a plan to send migrants and refugees arriving in the UK illegally to Rwanda to seek asylum in the African country.

The British government’s decision was announced in the House of Commons despite the plan being ruled illegal this morning by the High Court in London.

In an emergency statement to the plenary, the new Home Secretary James Cleverley focused on the rationale of the court decision which refers to fear of refoulement of migrants and refugees by the Rwandan authorities to their countries of origin.

Mr Cleverley said the British government had been in discussions with the Rwandan government for months about taking steps to address the fears raised by the High Court.

London’s intention is to upgrade the agreement with Rwanda to a bilateral “treaty”, the Minister explained. Interior, so that the African country commits that it will not deport the immigrants it accepts through the United Kingdom to any country other than the United Kingdom.

According to Downing Street, this treaty will be presented in the coming days.

Mr Cleverley also said the upgraded deal with Rwanda also included support to boost infrastructure in the African country, again in a bid to lift Supreme Court reservations.

A little earlier, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had given the stamp of his intentions by saying that he is promoting a new treaty with Rwanda, but also that he will not hesitate, if necessary in the future, to change the domestic legislation. In this way, it leaves open the possibility of withdrawing the European Convention on Human Rights.

He had added that the Supreme Court did not consider the principle of transporting migrants to safe third countries illegal.

It is noted that in a unanimous decision the Supreme Court declared the British plan illegal, saying that Rwanda does not constitute a safe third country under the current circumstances.