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Letter: ‘Supreme Court decision on Rwanda was entirely predictable in contravening human rights.’

The recent Supreme Court decision on Rwanda was entirely predictable, contravening as it does both human rights, international and UN law on refugees/asylum seekers. Persisting with this approach exposes a bankrupt strategy for cosmetic appearances to appease their dwindling followers. Channel crossings are attributable to:

(1) The government stipulating that people must be in the UK to apply and

(2) Their failure to negotiate an alternative during Brexit to the arrangement that prevailed previously where people could be returned to the EU country from whence they came.

There is a glaringly obvious solution that would (A) prevent these desperate people risking their lives in one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world; (B) pull the rug from under the smugglers; and (C) save millions being spent on hotel accommodation. You simply make it compulsory to apply from a third country so that the only ones that arrive are those whose application has been successful.

Anti-immigration protestors in Dover
Anti-immigration protestors in Dover

Another benefit would be that those public servants who presently arrange accomodation could be retrained to help clear the backlog. As some are waiting in excess of 18 months to discover their fate, why not allow them to work in the interim to combat the labour shortage and deduct a small amount to cover their housing costs.

One can’t help but suspect that the government wants this issue to be at the forefront of the news to deflect from their failure in reducing NHS waiting lists, the cost of living and acting on climate change. The two previous home secretaries advanced the argument that refugees should claim asylum in the first safe country they enter, relying on our geographical position on the periphery of Europe to evade our humanitarian obligations.

That simply reveals that Priti Patel and Suella Braverman weren’t in command of their brief as the UK is not only a signatory but one of the countries that drafted the 1951 UN Convention on Asylum Seekers which clearly states that refugees can choose which country to live in.

Focusing solely on the 45,000 or so who crossed the Channel, which in the unlikely event that all applications were successful, would mean less than 70 per constituency, hides the 1.2 million who immigrated to the UK in the year to June 2023. Time for honesty and to stop playing games with both the refugees and the UK public.

Gerard O’Boyle

Address supplied

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