Post-Brexit Immigration Battle: Northern Ireland Rules on UK’s Rwanda Deportation Policy

Northern Ireland’s high court has ruled against key aspects of the UK’s deportation policy, challenging the legality of the Rwanda deportation plan and raising questions about the government’s post-Brexit immigration strategy. Here’s the full story.

Flagship Policy

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Aidan Calderbank

Rishi Sunak’s flagship policy of Stopping the Boats by deporting asylum claimants to Rwanda, a scheme that was previously declared illegal by the UK’s highest court, has had a troubled history since its inception. 

Significant Legal Blow

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alexandros Michailidis

In yet another significant legal blow to the UK government’s Rwanda deportation policy, a high court judge in Northern Ireland has ruled that critical aspects of the Illegal Migration Act should not apply in the region. 

Human Rights Protections

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Victor Moussa

Mr Justice Humphreys found that sending asylum seekers to Rwanda from Northern Ireland would be incompatible with human rights protections guaranteed under the post-Brexit Windsor Framework, particularly the parts which concern the Good Friday peace agreement. 

“Relevant Diminution”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov

The judge stated, “I have found that there is a relevant diminution of right in each of the areas relied upon by the applicants.”

Battle Against Human Rights

Image Credit: Shutterstock / nampix

The judge’s ruling also highlighted significant breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which has brought into sharp relief the government’s ongoing battle against human rights, particularly those of asylum seekers. 

Leaving the ECHR

Image Credit: Shutterstock / TsvirPixel

Earlier this week, Sunak made clear in a speech to the right-wing Policy Exchange think tank that he would consider leaving the ECHR should it attempt to interfere with the government’s illegal Rwanda policy.

“Every Single Time”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salivanchuk Semen

Sunak stated, “If the Strasbourg court makes me choose between the ECHR and this country’s security, I will choose our country’s security every single time.”

Direct Implications

Image Credit: Shutterstock / John Gomez

The court’s decision has direct implications for asylum seekers residing in Northern Ireland, including a 16-year-old asylum seeker from Iran who became a focal point of the legal challenge after arriving in the UK as an unaccompanied minor. 

National Transfer Scheme

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Aidan Calderbank

The boy initially arrived in Kent but was sent to Northern Ireland by the Home Office as part of its national transfer scheme.

Central to the Plan

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov

The ruling challenges the legality of excluding specific individuals from the asylum process based on their mode of arrival, a provision central to the UK’s deportation plan.

Feasibility and Legality

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Elena11

The judgement casts doubt on the feasibility and legality of the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda; a strategy dreamt up in the hope that it would stem the influx of migrants crossing the English Channel without prior authorization. 

“This Judgement Changes Nothing”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

The legal setback opens the door to human rights lawyers bringing discrimination cases against the government as it would have to treat asylum seekers in different parts of the UK differently. 

However, Rishi Sunak was unequivocal, stating, “This judgement changes nothing about our operational plans to send illegal migrants to Rwanda this July or the lawfulness of our Safety of Rwanda Act. We continue to work to get regular flights off to Rwanda in the coming weeks and nothing will distract us from that or delivering to the timetable I set out. We must start the flights to stop the boats.”

“Not Expanded”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salivanchuk Semen

He continued, “I have been consistently clear that the commitments in the Belfast (Good Friday) agreement should be interpreted as they were always intended, and not expanded to cover issues like illegal migration. We will take all steps to defend that position, including through appeal.”

Safety of Rwanda Act

Image Credit: Shutterstock / JMundy

The government had passed the Safety of Rwanda Act, which declared Rwanda a safe country to send asylum seekers to, despite the UK receiving several asylum seekers from Rwanda who were fleeing prosecution and the UK’s highest court declaring it an unsafe country. 

Human Rights Violation

Image Credit: Shutterstock / nito

The UK government’s scheme is even affecting neighbouring countries. Ireland’s highest court has ruled that asylum seekers who travel to Ireland from the UK cannot be sent back, as doing so would violate their human rights under the ECHR.

Contemplating Appeal

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Bhutinat65

The UK government is contemplating an appeal against the court’s decision, signalling a potential legal battle over interpreting post-Brexit agreements and the scope of immigration policy within Northern Ireland. 

Human Rights and Hope

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Mr. Ashi. Sae Yang

Sinead Marmion of Phoenix Law, the law firm which represented the young Iranian boy, stated, “The Good Friday Agreement has always been a beacon of human rights protections and hope.”

“Including Asylum Seekers”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Aidan Calderbank

She continued, “Today, the court, through the Northern Ireland Protocol, has ensured those rights apply to the whole community – including asylum seekers.”

Breaking the Law

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Such is the fallout from the ruling that the First Division Association, the union that represents senior government officials, is seeking legal advice on what to do if the government asks them to carry out the Rwanda plan, in clear violation of the law. 

Illegal and Immoral

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salivanchuk Semen

While the judgement primarily addresses specific issues within Northern Ireland, it raises broader questions about the illegality and immorality of the UK’s deportation strategy.

Uncertain Future

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Melinda Nagy

However, it remains to be seen whether the judgement or any of the likely upcoming legal cases will force the government to change its plans.

25 Things You CAN’T Talk About Anymore

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Motortion Films

Remember the days when you could freely discuss just about anything without fear of sparking controversy? Well, those days are long gone. In today’s hyper-sensitive world, there are topics so fraught with tension that even mentioning them can lead to heated debates and hurt feelings. 25 Things You CAN’T Talk About Anymore

Stranded: 15 Worst British Cars in History

Image Credit: Shutterstock / John Selway

Ever had a car that spent more time with the mechanic than on the road? A car that turned every journey into a game of “Will we actually get there?” If so, you might just see a familiar face (or should we say, chassis) in our countdown to the most unreliable British car in history. Stranded: 15 Worst British Cars in History

“Britain Will Become Unrecognizable” – Suella Braverman Spells Disaster for UK Amid Steep Rise in Visas Issued

Image Credit: Shutterstock / I T S

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman has warned that Britain will become “unrecognizable,” criticizing the amount of work visas the Home Office has approved, despite only being removed from her role in November. “Britain Will Become Unrecognizable” – Suella Braverman Spells Disaster for UK Amid Steep Rise in Visas Issued

20 Things From the ‘70s That Are Not OK Today

Image Credit: Shutterstock / HappySloth

Step into the time machine and set the dial to the 1970s, a decade of disco, bell-bottoms, and some rather questionable choices. While the ’70s gave us iconic music and groundbreaking TV, not everything from this groovy era would get a green light today. 20 Things From the ‘70s That Are Not OK Today

20 Best and Worst Universities in the UK

Image Credit: Shutterstock / William Barton

Navigating the UK university landscape is like deciphering a complex code of rankings, reviews, and reputations to uncover where you’ll not just learn, but truly flourish. Whether you’re drawn to the historic halls of Oxford or the creative buzz of Goldsmiths, finding your perfect fit is about aligning your aspirations with the unique offerings of each institution. 20 Best and Worst Universities in the UK

The post Post-Brexit Immigration Battle: Northern Ireland Rules on UK’s Rwanda Deportation Policy first appeared on Edge Media.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Aidan Calderbank.

Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

Leave a Comment