Seeking asylum is a human right and Rwanda policy must be scrapped, says Nicholl, welcoming Supreme Court ruling

Alliance Migration, International Relations & Human Rights spokesperson Kate Nicholl MLA has said she is greatly relieved following the UK Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling that the government’s plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful.

Asylum Seekers Kate Nicholl

The announcement was made this morning (15 November), with Supreme Court President Lord Reed expressing that there was a "real risk" asylum seekers could be sent from Rwanda back to the places they fled from.


New Home Secretary James Cleverly has since addressed MPs in the House of Commons regarding the judgment.


The South Belfast MLA has said: “This ruling will be greatly relieving to everyone with genuine concern for the welfare of refugees and asylum seekers coming to the UK in search of safety and a better life for themselves and their families.


“Right from the outset this was a deranged and unworkable policy, mired by controversy and legal challenge after legal challenge. It’s been a source of anxiety for so many of the asylum seeker and refugee families I’ve worked with and seen come through my office, who are simply seeking sanctuary, as is their right to do so.


“The Supreme Court unanimously concluded that Rwanda is unsafe, citing numerous pieces of domestic and international legislation. The Home Secretary – in post a total of two days – has responded that the UK intends to proceed with the scheme. This is further evidence of the government’s delusion and incompetence.


“If they were genuine in wanting to address issues around migration, they’d be working on processing claims faster and creating safe and legal routes, rather than placing blame on voiceless asylum seekers and playing distraction politics from their own repeated failures with xenophobic rhetoric that only aims to divide us.


“The ECHR and vulnerable people fleeing war and discrimination aren't responsible for the UK’s economic crisis – the Conservatives are.


“To seek asylum from persecution is a human right, and it’s clearer now more than ever that this policy must be scrapped, and scrapped for good.”