UK PM Sunak Targeting Deals With More Nations for Deportation Scheme

According to leaked documents, Britain is reportedly aiming to use a deportation plan similar to the one for Rwandan deportations to four countries.

The British government has been actively seeking another third-country pact, with leaked papers revealing that discussions have been initiated with Armenia,  Botswana, Costa Rica, and Ivory Coast to implement a migrant expulsion plan similar to the Rwanda plan.

After two years of legal and political fighting, the Rwandan plan is still struggling to get off the ground, and all four nations that were considered priorities, among many others, have reached a standstill.

What the government calls third-country asylum processing has also been explored with other South American nations, including Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Colombia, although they were thought to be less receptive.

Reports show the countries of Angola, Cape Verde,  Togo, Tanzania, Senegal, and Sierra Leone were added to a reserve list of African nations that would be addressed if previous objectives were unsuccessful.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has always avoided naming a particular date but said flights to Kigali will begin operating by spring.

The plan has been mired in uncertainty after a last-minute challenge before the European Court of Human Rights in June 2022.

The Home Office has not yet successfully secured an airline to conduct the flights, but its goal is to expel the first people by June.  To distance itself from the contentious plan, Rwanda’s state-owned airline reportedly rejected a request from the UK government to carry asylum seekers.

After being pressured by protestors, Mallorca-based Privilege Style, which was contracted to provide Rwandan flights, withdrew from the agreement in 2022.

Some have proposed that the Ministry of Defense serve as a “back-stop” if such situations arise before the first Rwandan flights.

This month, the House of Commons will hear the Safety of Rwanda Bill again. The bill aims to shield the government’s deportation plan from further legal obstacles after the UK Supreme Court ruled against it.

The bill would give ministers the authority to disregard emergency injunctions and mandate that courts consider the East African nation safe.

However, the House of Lords has demanded a modification allowing domestic courts to again interfere in the Rwanda matter.