Days after the Tory government’s proposed Rwanda migrant policy was scrapped by the country’s supreme court, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he remains “completely committed” to the scheme.
The policy, for which the British government has already paid 140 million pounds to Rwanda, aims to transfer asylum seekers arriving in the UK to the East African country.
“I’m completely committed to doing what is necessary to get those flights off and that scheme up and running,” news agency Reuters quoted Sunak as saying, in response to a question following a speech in London.
The country’s apex court, while ruling the policy as illegal on November 15, noted that the migrants’ cases may be unfairly assessed by Rwanda and a possibility exists that may be sent back to the countries where they were persecuted.
The policy’s defeat in the top court has increased the challenges for Sunak, who was propelled to power last year following an economic crisis.
The task for the Indian-origin UK PM is cut out: finalising a new agreement with Rwanda that may address the apex court’s concerns if in case a review petition is filed, and pacifying the right-wing of the Tory party which has already shown signs of revolt.
While addressing the Parliament on November 15, hours after the court ruled against the Rwanda policy, Sunak said he would “finalise” a new agreement with the African nation.
“The government has been working already on a new treaty with Rwanda and we will finalise that in light of today’s judgment,” the prime minister said, adding that he is also open to “revisit our domestic legal frameworks” if they may act as a barrier towards implementing the policy to deport the asylum seekers.
The comments came a day after Suella Braverman, the sacked UK home secretary, criticised Sunak for not taking measures to remove Britain as a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights and the 1951 Refugee Convention. The two international pacts are said to be at the core of frustrating the government’s plan to deport asylum seekers to a third country.
Milestone Alert!Livemint tops charts as the fastest growing news website in the world 🌏 Click here to know more.
Updated: 20 Nov 2023, 05:36 PM IST