EU Council Asks UK to Scrap Migrant Deportation Plan

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives are promoting a bill that would compel courts to treat Rwanda as a safe third nation. 

To get around a UK Supreme Court verdict that ruled it was unconstitutional to put refugees on a one-way ticket to Kigali, they also want asylum decision-makers to ignore parts of domestic and international human rights legislation. Nonetheless, the administration encountered legislative challenges when the House of Lords, the upper house, sent the proposed law back to the House of Commons with revisions on many occasions. 

Asylum seekers’ rights and the rule of law were seen to be “major issues” when the top rights authority in Europe urged Britain to abandon its contentious proposal to deport them to Rwanda. Among the 46 member states of the Council of Europe, Britain is notable for its membership in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), an organ of the Council of Europe that supports and defends the ECHR. The British Conservative administration was enraged when the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) imposed an interim measure in June 2022 that blocked the UK’s first attempt to transfer asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The bill’s legislative detractors wanted an impartial monitoring agency to certify that Rwanda was no longer a threat before the country could be considered safe for travel. They also sought a stipulation that would prevent the expulsion of British agents, allies, and workers serving abroad, such as the Afghans who had fought side by side with British soldiers.

Conservative-controlled House of Commons members rejected all amendments and sent the debate to the House of Lords, a practice called “parliamentary ping pong.” 

To break the impasse and ensure the measure would now gain royal approval to become law, the unelected upper chamber ultimately gave in to the wishes of the elected MPs and decided not to make any additional changes.

In a last-ditch effort to prevent planes from taking off, asylum seekers’ lawyers may once again petition the ECHR for an interim remedy.

United Kingdom law grants ministerial discretion over whether or not to adhere to temporary ECHR remedies even though such measures “are binding.” 

According to UN rights experts, airlines and aviation authorities may be in violation of globally recognized human rights rules if they participate in deportations.