May 19, 2024

British Prime Minister Sunak wants to carry on the Rwandan model with serious measures

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Great Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wants to stick to his plan to implement the Rwanda model. © Credit: Fred Duvall/Vuk Walczyk/Imaco-Images

Rishi Sunak is toying with withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights on his migration policy. A new peak in election campaigning?

LONDON – Debates over government immigration policy are high on the political agenda in many European countries. A frequently asked solution in recent months is the outsourcing of asylum procedures to third countries. A related plan by British Prime Minister Sunak is called the “Rwanda Model”. The conservative head of government's big problem: the model may violate the European Convention on Human Rights (EHCR). However, Sunak has no reason to cancel the project.

Rwanda model in Great Britain – Sunak wants to implement controversial projects

In an interview with a British tabloid the sun Sunak has now confirmed that he will follow the Rwandan model and is ready to take drastic measures. Under the plans, asylum seekers would be deported to Rwanda after arriving in the British Isles, where they could then submit an asylum application. Sunak also recommends withdrawing from international treaties, including the EHCR, to implement the plans.

“I believe our plans are consistent with our international obligations, including the European Convention on Human Rights,” Sunak said. “But I believe that we can control border security and illegal immigration, which is more important than any member of a foreign court because it is fundamental to our sovereignty as a country.” Law.

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The Supreme Court in Great Britain ruled in November 2023 that Sunak's plans violated applicable law. The top judges saw a risk that asylum seekers in Rwanda could not receive a fair trial. Sunak planned to avoid the ruling by quickly declaring Rwanda a legally safe third country. But the joint human rights committee of the British House of Commons and House of Lords rejected the plans. Such a plan would be “fundamentally incompatible” with Britain's human rights obligations.

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Sunak may further increase pressure on migration policy, especially in view of the general election in Great Britain, which may be scheduled for the second half of the year. In opinion polls, the conservative Tories are far behind the Social Democratic Labor Party. Sunak's party could even face a real embarrassment in the election, according to a survey by the polling firm Youkov. Like a news agency Reuters On Wednesday (April 3), Labor won more than 400 of the 650 seats in the British House of Commons. The Tories face their worst result since 1997.

International legal experts doubt the viability of Sunak's Rwanda model – even if the ECHR leaves

The Rwanda Model is considered a prestigious project of the Prime Minister. His latest statements the sunThe interview suggests that Sunak cannot shy away from radical measures such as withdrawing from the EHCR. It is doubtful whether Rwanda's plans – as Sunak has announced – can be brought into line with human rights conventions.

“Anyone who wants to outsource asylum procedures in this way is losing reality under international law,” Green Party politician Julian Balke said last year. IPPEN.MEDIA. However, even after the UK withdraws from the EHCR, the Rwandan model may not work. Matthias Hardwig of the Max Planck Institute for International Law and Comparative Public Law in Heidelberg shared this assessment in November 2023. IPPEN.MEDIA.

In their reasoning, the highest judges of Great Britain refer not only to the relevant international treaties, but also to customary international law. It evolves through the relative legal beliefs and practices of states. “If one follows the Court's assessment, this provision applies if Great Britain does not recognize the relevant conventions,” Hardwick pointed out.

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Britain discusses Rwanda model – Sunak to deliver

However, time is running out for Sunak. Like a news agency B.A On Monday (April 1), the number of people crossing the English Channel in small boats to Britain hit a record for the first quarter of the year. More than 5,400 people have made the perilous journey through the strait in the first three months of this year alone. On April 15, the House of Commons is scheduled to debate the reclassification of Rwanda as a safe third country. The British Prime Minister may need a win, especially given the election. (fd with dpa)