Three asylum seekers who were set to be deported to Rwanda will not be removed, the Home Office revealed, as opponents sought to scupper Priti Patel’s flagship policy with a last-ditch High Court legal challenge.
About 100 people have been told they will be put on a flight to the Central African nation next Tuesday, but charities, campaigners and a union representing Border Force staff have brought a legal challenge on behalf of a number of them.
Lawyers acting for the groups say the policy is unlawful and LGBT migrants could face discrimination. They’re pursuing an urgent injunction to stop next week’s scheduled flight, and any other such flights, ahead of a full hearing of the case later in the year.
The fightback is being led by top QCs Raza Husain and Chris Buttler, both from Matrix, a chamber of liberal barristers co-founded by Cherie Booth, the wife of former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair. She left in 2014.
The Home Office insists their claim should fail because it’s not justified and that Priti Patel’s policy is in the public interest to discourage migrants from crossing the English Channel. The flight could be grounded if the High Court grants the injunction.
Raza Husain QC, for the claimants, told the High Court that the system’s not safe. It’s not that it’s not safe after July, it’s just not safe, and he said: ‘You may be arbitrarily denied access to it. If you do get into it, there are concerns about the impartiality of the decision-making.’
He continued that the evidence is that if you’re not from a neighbouring country, then there are high levels of rejection.
Mr Husain said this included asylum seekers from Syria, who were largely tolerated by the UK system, and he added that the procedure was simply unsafe.
Calling for an evidence-based assessment for the procedure, not an aspirational basis, or hopes, Mr Hussain said that the Secretary of State’s conclusion as to the safety of Rwanda was irrational and that they had an extremely strong case on that, later adding: ‘We say there is no answer whatsoever to this case on irrationality on the assessment that Rwanda’s procedures are safe.’
The barrister later said that the agreement between the two countries, known as a Memorandum of Understanding, was unenforceable.
Some would say that they shouldn’t be here in the first place. That they arrived illegally, and who is paying for their lawyers?
If the United Kingdom had proper checks in place this wouldn’t happen. Let’s face it, it doesn’t happen in Australia because they have very strict immigration laws.
Name one country in the world you can enter, and get free hotels. All expenses paid and access to all services. Our judicial system and illegal border enforcement are a complete shambles, but then it can only happen in the United Kingdom.
Our charity and generosity have been badly taken advantage of over the years, and those charities that are supporting migrants should perhaps be supporting our homeless or veterans that are in need of assistance instead.
Charities require charitable donations from the public, but of course, now you at least know where your donations are going and it’s not the citizens of the United Kingdom, and if you were one of those people that donated to one of these charities, I’m guessing you didn’t know that your donations would be used on legal fees to oppose the British government? And could someone at least name these charities so that people can stop giving them support?