The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has criticized the planned British asylum law as a breach of international law. "It goes against the UK's obligations under the International Refugee Convention," UNHCR's UK representative, Vicky Tennant, told Sky News on Sunday. "We are very concerned that this will set a global precedent and (...) effectively wipe out the right to asylum in the UK for almost all refugees." Tennant stressed that the focus must be on the asylum system so that applications can be processed quickly could.
Parliament in London is again debating the asylum law this Monday. It provides for the detention of all people entering the UK unwanted, regardless of their background, for up to a month. They are then to be deported to their homeland or – if that would be too dangerous – to Rwanda or another country. The right to apply for asylum should be taken away from them.
Under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Great Britain had signed a controversial agreement with East African Rwanda to fly asylum seekers there. This should discourage people from making the English Channel crossing.
For years, London has been trying to prevent illegal and often dangerous entry via the English Channel. The growing number of unwanted people crossing the English Channel into the country is a thorn in the side of the conservative British government in particular. She had announced that she would "take back control of her own borders" after Brexit and is now under pressure from the right wing of the Tory party.
Because of the exit from the EU, Great Britain no longer has any readmission agreements with EU countries. Critics accuse the government of exaggerating the problem to please conservative voters. Significantly fewer asylum applications are made in Great Britain than, for example, in Germany.
The implementation of the agreement with Rwanda has failed so far. A flight with migrants to the East African country planned for June 2022 was canceled at short notice after a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. In December, the London High Court then ruled that the deportations to Rwanda were lawful - but the project is still the subject of appeals.
The British government has therefore already declared that it intends to deport unwanted migrants to Rwanda and other countries even if the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) prohibits this at short notice. The Telegraph newspaper reported that a clause was built into a recently introduced law that allows injunctions under Rule 39 of the ECtHR to be ignored.
The conservative government is currently trying to raise the hurdles for the application in negotiations with the court in Strasbourg. With “Rule 39”, the judges prevented a first deportation flight to Rwanda in East Africa in 2022.
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