The High Court today effectively killed off the Conservatives’ plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda after the cases of three claimants were finally disposed of.

The ruling follows prime minister Keir Starmer’s announcement that the Rwanda scheme was ‘dead and buried before it started’ adding: ‘I’m not prepared to continue with gimmicks that don’t act as a deterrent.’ Home secretary Yvette Cooper has also confirmed that no removals to Rwanda under the Migration and Economic Development Partnership are scheduled or intended to be scheduled.

The ongoing legal battle centred on the Rwanda scheme was listed for a four-day hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice before Dame Victoria Sharp, Mr Justice Chamberlain and Mr Justice Dove.

Sir James Eadie KC, for the government, said an agreement had been reached in relation to the three named claimants – SM, SY, and YXY – in the case. He added: ‘Those claimants’ cases will be finally disposed of and withdrawn subject to costs.’

Royal Courts Of Justice

RCJ: Ongoing legal battle centred on the Rwanda scheme was listed for a three-day hearing

Source: Darren Filkins

The court heard that another asylum claim which is currently stayed would have the stay lifted on the ‘resolution of these three individual claims’. Eadie said: ‘So far as that claim is concerned, it will be immediately unstayed and immediately adjourned.’

Phillipa Kaufmann KC, for one of the claimants, none of whom can be named, told the court that her client was ‘surprised it was necessary to keep proceedings alive considering the prime minister said [that the] Rwanda scheme was dead and buried. Given the home secretary wants to see if that is actually the case, a pragmatic compromise has been reached’.

Rakesh Singh, Public Law Project solicitor, who represents one of the claimants SM, said: ‘The home secretary has left open the possibility that removals to Rwanda might still take place, in contrast to the Prime Minister’s commitment that the Rwanda policy was ‘dead and buried’. Instead, the Home Secretary has said that she needs almost 3 months more to consider her position.

‘Because this issue remains undecided, Asylum Aid’s challenge to the policy and Act, which was stayed pending SM, will have its stay lifted whilst we wait to find out what the home secretary’s next steps are.’


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