London, Thanasis Gavos

THE UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was determined to implement the plan to send irregular migrants and refugees to Rwanda to seek asylum there, despite a ruling this morning by the High Court in London that the plan was illegal.

Unanimously, the five judges ruled that it is valid “real risk” for the safety of asylum seekers who would be sent to Rwanda under the current circumstances. But they did not reject the legitimacy of the principle of sending these people in some safe third country.

Citing this rationale for the decision, at an emergency afternoon press conference from Downing Street, Mr Sunak said he had negotiated an upgraded international treaty with Rwanda which would provide assurances about the safety of asylum seekers it sends to Britain is an African country.

The treaty will prohibit the deportation of these people from Rwanda back to their countries of origin or to a country other than Britain.

“We will finalize this treaty in light of today’s verdict and ratify it without delay,” said Mr. Sunak.

He added that he will take the “unusual step of promoting emergency legislation” with which the British Parliament will be able to confirm that with the new treaty Rwanda will be considered a safe third country.

The details of this new law were not made clear, but Mr Sunak added, referring to the European Court of Human Rights which has so far blocked flights to Rwanda: “I will not allow a foreign court to block these flights.”

Confirming how he is determined to clash with the court which is responsible for implementing the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, invoked by opponents of the government plan, Mr Sunak warned: “If the court in Strasbourg chooses to intervene against the express wishes of the parliament, I am prepared to do whatever is necessary to get the flights off the ground. We are a sensible government and this is a sensible country, but the patience of the British people has its limits.”

The right wing of his Conservative Party is urging or even demanding that Rishi Sunak withdraw the country from the European Convention on Human Rights and potentially other international conventions covering refugees.

In fact, the Deputy President of the party Lee Anderson said that the government should simply “to ignore the laws” and start sending illegal immigrants back to their country as soon as they set foot on British soil.