Judge grounds flight due to deport asylum seekers from UK to Madrid

Judge grounds flight due to deport asylum seekers from UK to Madrid after lawyers raise concerns they could end up destitute in Spain

  • Lawyers are representing three men who arrived in Britain on small boats 
  • They said the men should not be flown out until more is known about facilities 
  • Lawyers representing Home Secretary Priti Patel had argued that the flight should be allowed to leave 

A judge has grounded a flight due to take asylum seekers to Madrid after lawyers raised concerns that passengers could end up destitute in Spain.

The legal team representing the three men, who arrived in Britain on small boats during the summer, had mounted a High Court challenge in a bid to halt the flight, which had been chartered by Home Office officials.

They said the three men should not be flown to Madrid until more investigations had been carried out into Spanish immigrant reception facilities.

Lawyers representing Home Secretary Priti Patel had argued that the flight should be allowed to leave and said Spanish authorities could be trusted to comply with their obligations to asylum seekers.

The legal team representing the three men, who arrived in Britain on small boats during the summer, had mounted a High Court challenge in a bid to halt the flight, which had been chartered by Home Office officials. Pictured: a migrant father was photographed walking with his wife and two children along the coastal path at Kingsdown Beach in Deal yesterday

Sir Duncan Ouseley on Wednesday ruled in favour of the three men, and said the flight should not leave, after considering rival arguments at a High Court hearing in London.

The three men, a Syrian and two from Yemen, had travelled to Britain from north Africa, but had first set foot on the European mainland in Spain, the judge heard.

Spanish authorities had agreed they should be returned and make asylum claims in Spain.

Other immigrants due to be on the flight scheduled early on Thursday are thought to be in a similar position.

Lawyers representing Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured) had argued that the flight should be allowed to leave and said Spanish authorities could be trusted to comply with their obligations to asylum seekers

Lawyers representing three men, who arrived in Britain on small boats during the summer, had mounted a High Court challenge in a bid to halt the flight, which had been chartered by Home Office officials.  Pictured: migrants arriving in Kingsdown, Kent, on Monday

Lawyers representing the three men said there had been criticism of Spanish reception facilities, with reports of asylum seekers being forced to sleep rough because the border post at Madrid Airport had been “overwhelmed by demand”.

The three men were vulnerable and had mental health issues, lawyers said.

Sir Duncan said the men’s lawyers had raised a serious issue related to immigrant reception facilities in Madrid.

He said the charter flight should not leave until that issue had been fully investigated at a trial.

The judge said that trial should be staged in the near future.

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