Hours after the Supreme Court’s ruling, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday (Nov 15) said that he will bring in emergency legislation to declare Rwanda a safe country for asylum seekers after the judiciary declared his plan to deport immigrants as unlawful.
Addressing a press conference in No10, Sunak reiterated his resolve to proceed with the “stop the boats” campaign—a reference to his plan to end illegal entry as a route to asylum in the UK.
He said that he “accepts it and respects” the Supreme Court’s ruling, but added that he did not agree with it and would find a way around it.
‘Will continue with the plan to deport immigrants’
Sunak asserted that he is ready to defy the European Convention on Human Rights if there are any attempts to stop flights from leaving to Rwanda.
“Let me tell everyone now. I will not allow a foreign court to block these flights. If the Strasbourg Court chooses to intervene against the express wishes of Parliament I am prepared to do whatever is necessary to get flights off,” Sunak said.
“I will not take the easy way out,” he added.
The British premiere further said that he was working on a new international treaty with Rwanda that would provide “guarantees in law” in making sure that people deported from the UK are not sent back to their home country.
‘My patience has run thin’
Sunak also did not agree with deputy Conservative party deputy chair Lee Anderson’s suggestions asking the UK government to ignore the court’s ruling and allow the flights to take off anyway.
He said that people were “frustrated by repeated challenges to attempts to get this done”.
“My patience has run thin, as indeed I think the country’s patience has run thin,” Sunak said, claiming that he thought planes could be running to Rwanda by the spring of next year.
Sunak’s decision comes hours after his former home secretary Suella Braverman joined other right-wing Tory MPs in criticsing the court’s decision and called for emergency legislation to “block off” international and domestic legal avenues preventing the flights going ahead.
Sunak has been facing pressure from a faction of Tory MPs calling on him to act to bypass the court’s decision.
(With inputs from agencies)