“If the government had listened to migrant communities, campaigners, legal experts and local government spokespeople, it could have avoided this costly and, frankly, embarrassing outcome.”
By the Migrant Champions Network
Over 100 local councillors from different political parties and different parts of the UK have signed a statement calling on the Government to respect the Supreme Court’s ruling on its controversial scheme to send people seeking asylum to Rwanda.
The Supreme Court ruled on 15 November 2023 that the government’s deal to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda to have their protection claims assessed there was unlawful. In response the Government – which has already spent millions of pounds on the scheme and on defending it in court – has outlined plans to ignore the judgement and press ahead with removals to Rwanda.
Over 100 councillors – including representatives of Labour, the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats and Independents – have come together to call on the Government to respect the ruling from the Supreme Court, the UK’s highest domestic court.
“Our communities want to welcome newcomers, not send them thousands of miles away to a place where they have no connections and no guarantee of safety,” the joint statement reads.
“It shouldn’t take a Supreme Court ruling for the government to accept that this plan is grossly inhumane, and must be scrapped. If the government had listened to migrant communities, campaigners, legal experts and local government spokespeople, it could have avoided this costly and, frankly, embarrassing outcome.”
“This government’s relentless scapegoating of people who move, exemplified by the plan to ship people to Rwanda, flies in the face of the values of our strong and diverse communities. The government must take the Supreme Court ruling to heart and immediately abandon the Rwanda plan, and any other plans to establish third country deals or process asylum claims offshore.”
Mary Atkinson, coordinator of the Migrant Champions Network, which organised the statement, said:
“It’s fantastic to see local councillors from across different political parties come together and reject the government’s cruel, inhumane and dangerous plans to ignore a ruling from the highest court in the land. This is an issue that affects all of us, and it’s only right that local councillors – who have such a role to play in supporting our communities to welcome newcomers – are speaking up.”
The statement remains open for signature, and can be found here.
- You can follow the Migrant Champions Network X (formerly Twitter) here.
- If you are a local councillor you can add your name to the open statement calling for the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Rwanda Scheme to be respected here.
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