UK government to appeal judges' block of Rwanda deportation plan

UK government to appeal judges' block of Rwanda deportation plan
UK government plan to appeal the ruling by the Court of Appeal on the controversial Rwanda policy.
1 min read
Demonstrators hold placards as they protest against Britain's plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda. (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)

The UK government said it would challenge a court ruling issued Thursday that blocks its plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, a set-back to its controversial bid to cut migrant numbers.

Three Court of Appeal judges ruled that Rwanda could not be considered a safe third country, after a challenge to the policy by 10 migrants and a charity supporting asylum seekers.

The ruling was welcomed by human rights groups but sparked an indignant response in Kigali, which insisted it met UN standards for the treatment of refugees.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he respected the court but "fundamentally" disagreed with the judges' conclusions.

"I strongly believe the Rwandan government has provided the assurances necessary to ensure there is no real risk that asylum-seekers relocated under the Rwanda policy would be wrongly returned to third countries," he said.

"Rwanda is a safe country. The High Court agreed. The (UN refugee agency) UNHCR have their own refugee scheme for Libyan refugees in Rwanda.

"We will now seek permission to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court."

Tackling asylum claims has become a political headache for Sunak's ruling Conservative government in London, which promised to "take back control" of