The Nationality and Borders Act 2022 hit the statute books yesterday. The Home Office says that the Act “puts into law that those who arrive illegally in the UK – who could have claimed asylum in another safe country – can be considered as ‘inadmissible’ to the UK asylum system”, and so removed to Rwanda under plans announced just before Easter.
In fact, as Jon Featonby tells me on the latest episode of the podcast, inadmissibility provisions authorising removal to Rwanda are already part of the Immigration Rules:
345C. When an application is treated as inadmissible, the Secretary of State will attempt to remove the applicant to the safe third country in which they were previously present or to which they have a connection, or to any other safe third country which may agree to their entry.
Putting these rules in the new Act does make it harder to challenge the Rwanda scheme in court. But Sonia Lenegan says lawyers are nothing daunted, with two crowdfunded legal challenges already in the works. I understand that a third is underway in Northern Ireland.
Given the legal and logistical challenges, will refugees really end up on planes to Rwanda? And if they do, will it deter others from seeking asylum in the UK? Listen in your browser by pressing play above, or find Free Movement on the usual podcast platforms.