Thank you for contacting me about the Government’s plan for ending illegal migration and the current legislation.
I welcome that the Government is making significant progress in stopping the arrival of small boats, with crossings down by a third. This year, the Government has prevented 22,000 crossing attempts, seen the small boats deal with Albania lead to a 90 per cent fall in crossings, and cut the asylum legacy backlog by more than 59,000 cases. Being able to remove asylum seeks to Rwanda is an essential deterrent and part of our full toolbox to stop the boats.
The Supreme Court upheld the judgement of the Court of Appeal regarding the removal of people to Rwanda. That is why the Government brought forward this legislation and has agreed a treaty with Rwanda, to directly address the concerns of the Supreme Court.
The landmark treaty is binding in international law and ensures that people relocated to Rwanda under the partnership are not at risk of being returned to a country where their life or freedom would be threatened – an act known as refoulement.
I am aware that to further bolster assurances that relocated individuals will not be returned, under the treaty, Rwanda’s asylum system will be strengthened through a new appeal body. The appeal body will consist of a Rwandan and other Commonwealth national co-president, as well as judges of a mixture of nationalities with asylum and humanitarian expertise (appointed by the co-presidents) to hear individual appears. Further, this treaty comes together with new legislation that has been introduced to Parliament so that it can be scrutinised to confirm that with this new treaty, Rwanda is a safe country. Rwanda is also an important member of the Commonwealth and just held the presidency.