PM fights back after Rwanda plan ruled unlawful in thumping decision & says he’ll do 'whatever it takes to stop boats' | The Sun

RISHI Sunak is today scrambling to rescue his pledge to stop the boats after top judges torpedoed his Rwanda plan.

In a defiant press conference tonight, the PM will reveal his next move after his defeat in the Supreme Court over the flagship migration policy.

By unanimous verdict Britain's most senior judges ruled Rwanda was NOT a safe third nation to deport migrants to.

But racing out of the blocks, Mr Sunak does not appear to be giving up on the removal scheme just yet.

Following the judgement, he said: "We have seen today’s judgment and will now consider next steps. 

“This was not the outcome we wanted, but we have spent the last few months planning for all eventualities and we remain completely committed to stopping the boats.   

“Crucially, the Supreme Court – like the Court of Appeal and the High Court before it – has confirmed that the principle of sending illegal migrants to a safe third country for processing is lawful.



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In a fightback he insisted he will do "whatever it takes" to stop the boats – and will address the nation at 4.45pm from Downing Street.

Yet the defeat marks a huge blow to the PM’s pledge to stop the boats ahead of an expected showdown general election next year. 

In a summary of the ruling Lord Reed, the President of the Supreme Court, said that all five justices agreed with the Court of Appeal that the Rwanda scheme is unlawful.

He told the court: "We are unanimously of the view that they were entitled to reach that conclusion.

"Indeed, having been taken through the evidence ourselves, we agree with their conclusion."

Hitting back, a spokesperson for the Rwandan government said: "This is ultimately a decision for the UK’s judicial system.

"However, we do take issue with the ruling that Rwanda is not a safe third country for asylum seekers and refugees, in terms of refoulment.

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"Rwanda and the UK have been working together to ensure the integration of relocated asylum seekers into Rwandan society."

New Home Secretary James Cleverly insisted that "clearly there is an appetite for this concept".

He added: "Across Europe, illegal migration is increasing, and governments are following our lead – Italy, Germany and Austria are all exploring models similar to our partnership with Rwanda."

Katy Chakrabortty, Head of Policy and Advocacy at Oxfam GB, said: “It will be a great relief for many that the Supreme Court has ruled against this inhumane scheme which sought to punish rather than protect those fleeing conflict and persecution.

“The government now needs to look again at its asylum policies."

But yesterday No10 claimed ministers had been war-gaming the potential outcomes and drafting contingencies.

Mr Sunak’s spokesman said: “We've got options for possible scenarios as you would expect.”

The loss comes less than 24 hours after outgoing Home Secretary Suella Braverman blasted the PM for NOT having "any sort of credible Plan B" in her blistering resignation letter.

She wrote: "If we lose in the Supreme Court, an outcome that I have consistently argued we must be prepared for, you will have wasted a year and an Act of Parliament, only to arrive back at square one.

"Worse than this, your magical thinking – believing that you can will your way through this without upsetting polite opinion – has meant you have failed to prepare any sort of credible 'Plan B'."

Responding to the judgement Tory MP for Dover and Deal Natalie Elphicke said: "The Supreme Court's decision on Rwanda means the policy is effectively at an end.

"No planes will be leaving and we now need to move forward.

"A fresh policy is now needed: a new Cross Channel Agreement with France to stop the boats leaving and return those that do to the safety of the French coast.

"That should be David Cameron’s top foreign policy priority."

Last summer the Court of Appeal overturned a judgement from the High Court that the removal scheme was safe. 

By a two-to-one vote judges were not reassured the Kigali government would not later send migrants on to other countries where they could face persecution. 

Ministers have said a ruling of unlawfulness does not necessarily kill off the Rwanda plan – first announced in 2022 by Boris Johnson.

But the Supreme Court ruling will now fuel Tory calls for Britain to quit the European Court of Human Right.

Allies of Ms Braverman could ramp up their campaign to leave deepening the civil war blighting the Tory party.

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The government has already paid Rwanda £140million to rehouse asylum seekers crossing the Channel. 

Ministers believe the plan will deter tens of thousands making the perilous journey if they know they will be flown to the East African country.

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