Parts of the Rwandan law are being DRAFT in Northern Ireland

The British government has been plagued by its own Brexit arrangements after a court ruled that parts of its controversial Rwanda Bill should not apply in Northern Ireland.

Judges in Belfast have ruled that the Illegal Migration Act is incompatible with the protection of human rights in the region under the Windsor Framework.

It comes as a bitter blow to Rishi Sunak, who only recently managed to push the bill through parliament.

The Windsor framework

The Windsor Framework mainly addresses trade issues, but also includes a human rights element.

It commits Britain not to weaken human rights provisions under the Good Friday Agreement, the 1998 deal that ended 30 years of conflict in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles.

The judge ruled that several elements of the law cause a “significant” reduction in the rights enjoyed by asylum seekers staying in Northern Ireland under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

“I have found that there is a relevant reduction of rights in each of the areas relied on by the applicants,” he said.

Asylum seeker from Iran

The fight against the Illegal Migration Act was taken to courts in Belfast, which focused on the human rights protection guaranteed by the schemes.

One of the cases was heard by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the other by a 16-year-old asylum seeker from Iran living in Northern Ireland who arrived in Britain as an unaccompanied child.

The boy, who traveled from France by small boat and applied for asylum in July 2023, has said he would be killed or sent to prison if he returned to Iran.

Delivering today’s judgment in Belfast, Judge Humphreys said: “I have found that there has been a relevant reduction in entitlement in each of the areas relied on by the applicants.”

He added: “The applicants’ primary submission therefore succeeds.”

The judge agreed to temporarily suspend the non-application ruling until a new hearing at the end of May, when the applicants will have the opportunity to respond to the ruling.

Dr. Tony McGleenan KC, representing the Government, indicated that an appeal could be considered.

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