UK's Rwanda asylum flight cancelled after European Court order
Good Morning Europe
The first plane scheduled to take migrants to Rwanda has been abandoned after successful intervention by the European Court of Human Rights. Government sources told PA that all migrants had been removed from the plane, which was due to take off on Tuesday (14 June).
Up to seven people were due to be sent to the east African country after coming to the UK to seek refuge. However, after an out-of-hours judge considered an appeal, the UK decision was overruled. The decision goes against Boris Johnson and his home secretary, Priti Patel, who promised to send thousands of asylum seekers 4,000 miles to the country in May.
It is understood, right now, that the Home Office cannot appeal against the decision.
A large portion of the public was ecstatic about the ECHR's efforts, with Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, saying: “We’re pleased the courts have ruled to stop this flight."
He added: “It’s time for the Government to stop this inhumane policy which is the basest of gesture politics, and start to engage seriously with sorting out the asylum system, so those who come to our country seeking refuge are treated fairly and according to the law.”
James Wilson, deputy director of Detention Action, added: “Tonight is a night for the history books and the European Court of Human Rights, which was founded in the aftermath of the Holocaust, has done what it was established to do.
“It rarely intervenes in the legal matters of member countries. That it has done so now shows how potentially dangerous the Government’s Rwanda removals policy is.
“The ECHR has recognised that no one should be forced on a plane until our substantial legal challenge against this policy is heard by the High Court next month.”
Peoplealso took to Twitter to celebrate the good news.
\u201c\ud83d\udea8\ud83d\udea8\ud83d\udea8EVERYONE WILL BE TAKEN OFF THE FLIGHT!!\n\nNOONE WILL BE DEPORTED TO RWANDA TONIGHT!!\n\nWe have won today, but we will continue the fight tomorrow and against EVERY racist deportation \u270a\ud83c\udffe\u270a\ud83c\udffe\ud83d\udd25\ud83d\udd25\u201d
\u201cAbsolutely incredible. Inspirational work by every single activist lefty lawyer and campaigner who made this happen, working around the clock with very limited resources and taking on the full machinery of this racist bully state.\u201d
\u201cAmazing work by everyone involved. But the people who were on the flight will still be going back to detention centres. There will be more flights & the govt will be more determined to deport people. Join yr local @AntiRaids crew. Join groups fighting racist borders. Fight back.\u201d
\u201cI try to sign off with things of beauty. Tonight, leaving you with this.\n\nA testament to all those involved in looking head on the festering ugliness of this government's hostile environment to #StopTheFlights. The beauty of solidarity & resistance \u2764\ufe0f\u201d
\u201cA very welcome decision from the ECHR and a devastating blow to the government\u2019s inhumane plans to deport refugees to Rwanda.\n\nThanks to the many brilliant campaigners who have fought tirelessly for the rights of refugees.\u201d
\u201cThis whole episode has been embarrassing for the architects and supporters of this policy but uplifting to see people coming together to defend decency, compassion and common sense. #Rwanda\u201d
\u201cThe sheer scale of the collective work to ground today's brutal deportation flight to Rwanda is breathtaking. \n\nAs we prepare for the next fight, remember Diane di Prima's words: \n\n"No one way works, it will take all of us shoving at the thing from all sides to bring it down." \u270a\u201d
\u201c\ud83d\udc9a Human rights are just that \u2014 rights. Not options, not conditional \u2014 rights.\n\nI can\u2019t imagine how those vulnerable people feel today, following the cruel ordeal which thankfully, for now, has paused in government failure. But the fight isn\u2019t over; I\u2019m scared of what\u2019s to come.\u201d
\u201c\ud83d\udea8BREAKING\ud83d\udea8 Nobody will fly to Rwanda tonight \ud83c\udf89\n\nWE did this together! From protesters on the streets, to ppl chipping in to legal cases, to 1000s of emails & calls\n\nWe know the govt won't be giving up. So let's give this everything we've got, starting now. Together we can win\u201d
— Freedom from Torture\ud83e\udde1 (@Freedom from Torture\ud83e\udde1)
\u201cAmazing work!! \ud83d\udc4f\ud83d\udc4f\nProof that grassroots organising can defeat the biggest majority. Huge respect to Stop Deportations and everyone who made this happen!\u201d
\u201cBig love to all the comrades organising to stop the British government from deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. \n\nThis is what direct action looks like. \ud83d\udc47\ud83c\udffd\ud83d\udc47\ud83c\udffd\ud83d\udc47\ud83c\udffd\u201d
Patel described the European Court of Human Rights intervention as “very surprising”, adding that “many of those removed from this flight will be placed on the next”.
She said the Home Office legal team is reviewing “every decision made on this flight”, and that preparation for the next flight “begins now”.
Following the grounding of the flight on Tuesday night, Patel said: “Earlier this year, I signed a world-leading Migration Partnership with Rwanda to see those arriving dangerously, illegally, or unnecessarily into the UK relocated to build their lives there.
“This will help break the people smugglers’ business model and prevent loss of life, while ensuring protection for the genuinely vulnerable.
“Access to the UK’s asylum system must be based on need, not on the ability to pay people smugglers.
“The demands on the current system, the cost to the taxpayer, and the flagrant abuses are increasing, and the British public have rightly had enough.
“I have always said this policy will not be easy to deliver and am disappointed that legal challenge and last-minute claims have meant today’s flight was unable to depart.
“It is very surprising that the European Court of Human Rights has intervened despite repeated earlier success in our domestic courts.
“These repeated legal barriers are similar to those we experience with other removals flights and many of those removed from this flight will be placed on the next.
“We will not be deterred from doing the right thing and delivering our plans to control our nation’s borders.
“Our legal team are reviewing every decision made on this flight and preparation for the next flight begins now.”
Rwandan Government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo said: “We are not deterred by these developments.
“Rwanda remains fully committed to making this partnership work. The current situation of people making dangerous journeys cannot continue as it is causing untold suffering to so many.
“Rwanda stands ready to receive the migrants when they do arrive and offer them safety and opportunity in our country.”
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