Monthly column: The Government has bet the whole house on red and lost

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Palace of Westminster
Image: Mike Gimelfarb

The Government’s flagship immigration policy lies in tatters as Suella Braverman’s “dream” to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was this week ruled unlawful by the UK Supreme Court.

Five of the most senior judges in our land unanimously dismissed the Home Office case on the grounds that Rwanda’s system for processing asylum is unsafe.

Years have been lost, the asylum backlog has grown, and hundreds of millions wasted on a cruel, hair-brained scheme that was never likely to work and even if it did, was only going to cover a few hundred asylum seekers.

They knew this, but still bet the whole house on red. And they lost. And we’ve lost.

Because, all the while successive Tory Governments have obsessed over this, they rejected all the realistic, workable solutions to tackle the record backlog in asylum claims that their failed asylum system created.

I had hoped this ruling would end the stream of ever more outlandish, gimmicky, expensive, unworkable policies from this Government, but no, they are doubling down.

The Deputy Chairman of the Conservative party has advocated breaking the law and the plan from the Prime Minister is to introduce emergency legislation to pronounce that something the Supreme Court ruled was untrue, is actually true.

Rwanda is a safe country – because they say so.

The Government is also talking about leaving the European Court of Human Rights (nothing to do with the EU as is often wrongly believed) even though the ruling specifically said it would make no difference to the ruling.

And in fact, we’d have to leave the UN Convention on Torture, the Refugee Convention and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well.

So much for the party of law and order! They seem to want to make us a pariah state. How many more millions of pounds do they want to waste, how many more of our rights, our international reputation, our fundamental British values does this Government want to sacrifice on the altar of this awful, unworkable, policy?

Five years ago, there were just a few hundred people crossing in boats, but the Tories let criminal gangs take hold along the channel. They let asylum decisions collapse, so the backlog soared to record levels.

We need a properly controlled and managed system for asylum and refugees with a massively scaled-up plan to go after the criminal gangs, a proper system to clear the backlog, and a proper returns unit in place so that we can end hotel use.

It may not sound as belligerent as the plan to offshore our asylum seekers, but it does have the advantage of being a plan that will work.

This is a monthly guest column provided by
Mohammad Yasin, Labour MP for Bedford & Kempston.
It is published unedited and does not
reflect the views of the Bedford Independent.