UK-Rwanda Deportation Plan Halted By ECHR

    Photo: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has said the British government remains committed to deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing, after the first flight to the African country was canceled minutes before take-off due to a late intervention by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tues. evening.

    • The Strasbourg-based court, which has the power to override decisions made by British courts and make binding judgments in the UK, highlighted criticism from the UNHCR, who expressed doubt that deportees would have access to fair procedures on their claims.

    The Spin

    Right narrative

    The ECHR has undermined British sovereignty with its 11th-hour intervention. The UK Supreme Court, the highest court in the country, had already rejected injunctions to this prudent plan, yet judges in Strasbourg cost the UK taxpayer at least £500K by interfering with government policy. Boris Johnson should lead the UK to walk away from the ECHR.

    Left narrative

    The ECHR was forced to intervene to stop a draconian policy that would have violated the rights of asylum seekers from proceeding. Some of those scheduled to fly on Tues. were victims of torture who have a right to have their cases decided in Britain. Despite the defensive reaction of the Conservative government, the policy is too legally questionable to be forced through.

    Political split



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