Suella push to avoid legal hurdles ‘blocked by No 10’
SUELLA Braverman drew up an alternative Rwanda scheme in a bid to short-circuit legal problems but was blocked by the Prime Minister, it was claimed last night.
The former home secretary, who was sacked by Rishi Sunak on Monday, wanted to send Channel small boat migrants to Rwanda for processing by British officials under British asylum laws.
Her proposals would have allowed most migrants ultimately to return to the UK. But it would have deterred a ‘huge proportion’ of Channel arrivals from coming here in the first place, because they would have wanted to avoid spending months, possibly as long as a year, in Africa while their case was processed, her supporters believe. An ally of Mrs Braverman said: ‘Suella repeatedly proposed a plan when she first came in as home secretary to have the option to carry out UK asylum offshoring in Rwanda, which would have insured against this loss in the courts.
‘But it was blocked by the magical thinkers in No 10.
‘They played roulette with the British public and just blindly banked on winning in the court.’
The offshoring scheme was first proposed to Downing Street in writing in January, it is understood.
‘Irregular’ migrants including those who arrived in Britain by small boat would have been flown to Rwanda and housed there. Migrants who won asylum would be allowed to return to the UK. If they were refused asylum, they would be offered the chance to come to Britain or remain in Rwanda.
The scheme differed significantly from the existing Rwanda programme, which was unveiled by Boris Johnson in April last year. It involves illegal migrants being given a one-way ticket to Rwanda to claim asylum under the country’s own rules.
Mrs Braverman’s predecessor at the Home Office, Dame Priti Patel, said ministers ‘have had the opportunity to address’ issues raised by the Supreme Court and ‘should work with the government of Rwanda on the practical and operational delivery of this policy’.