UK Supreme Court rejects prime ministers request to send migrants back home

The United Kingdom Supreme Court has rejected a controversial government plan to send migrants to Rwanda.

The apex court upheld a lower court judgement that it was unlawful, in a major setback for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

A five-judge panel of the Supreme Court unanimously took the position of the Appeal Court judges that the policy was incompatible with Britain’s obligations under international treaties.

“We conclude that the Court of Appeal was entitled to find that there are substantial grounds for believing that the removal of the claimants to Rwanda would expose them to a real risk of ill-treatment,” they concluded.

They further agreed with the Appeal Court’s in June which said that Rwanda risked forcibly returning asylum seekers and refugees to a country where they could face persecution, in a move known as refoulement.

“Having been taken through the evidence we agree with their conclusion,” they added in their 56-page ruling.

The Conservatives led by Sunak had insisted that the Rwanda scheme is crucial to reduce “illegal” immigration across the Channel on small boats, an issue set to feature prominently in the next general election.

But the ruling puts an end to a saga that began in April last year when Britain signed a deal with Rwanda to send undocumented migrants to interim centres and leave the UK leader’s immigration agenda in tatters.

It is also set to widen rifts in the ruling Tory party between right-wing lawmakers and moderates.

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