Press Story

Responding to today’s Supreme Court ruling that sending thousands of migrants to Rwanda would be unlawful, Marley Morris, IPPR associate director for migration, trade and communities said:

“Today’s ruling will send the government back to the drawing board as it wrestles with how to respond to the small boat crossings.

“While the government may do its best to resurrect the Rwanda plan or find deals elsewhere, there is little prospect of success in the short term. It may be lawful in principle to relocate people to third countries, but the Rwanda saga shows how hard it is to find a country which is both willing to accept large numbers of asylum seekers from the UK and which has a safe, well-functioning asylum system.

“Now is the time for a serious, credible alternative to the Rwanda agreement. IPPR has put forward a three-point plan that focuses on safe routes to divert people away from dangerous Channel crossings, new deals with France and the EU on asylum, and reforms to our asylum system to get the backlog under control. It’s time for the government to adopt it.”

IPPR’s alternative blueprint to deliver a humane and effective response to the problem of small boat crossings, published last month, called on government to:

  • Create new safe and accessible routes for people seeking refuge in the UK by piloting a new refugee visa, widening currently restrictive refugee family reunion rules and expanding the UK Resettlement Scheme.
  • Renew collaboration with European neighbours to enhance cooperation on tackling people smuggling, resolve the immigration status of people in northern France, and agree fair rules for deciding which country should process asylum claims.
  • Fix the UK’s broken domestic asylum system by reducing the backlog, introducing a new approach to voluntary asylum returns and reforming the current model of asylum accommodation.