Rishi Sunak may have lost to judges today – but he has public opinion on his side and the fight is far from over

Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Rwandan minister for foreign affairs and international co-operation, Vincent Biruta sign an enhanced partnership deal in Kigali, during her visit to Rwanda. Picture date: Saturday March 18, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Migrants. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

SUELLA Braverman famously said she “dreamed” of deportation flights taking off to Rwanda.

That dream was dealt a hefty blow today as a court ruled the scheme was unlawful because it risks the safety of the illegal migrants.

Suella Braverman signs a deal with Rwanda

But it is far from a knock-out – with the government certain to escalate the case to Britain’s most senior judges in the Supreme Court.

That showdown will ultimately decide the fate of whether Rishi Sunak and ministers can pursue the ambitious policy central to their pledge to “stop the boats”.

Yes, today’s ruling makes the prospect of removals almost impossible to achieve this year – with doubts they could now happen before the next election.

Campaigners will declare victory after having their appeal about the safety of Rwanda upheld.

Yet Sunak and Braverman will take solace from the fact that the Court of Appeal both was split in its ruling, and that many other grounds for appeal were dismissed.

They also won in the High Court last year when the issue of safety was first challenged.

So the score in this bitter legal fight between ministers and campaigners is 1-1.

Both will fight tooth and nail to edge victory in the final showdown in the months to come.

And Sunak is also confident he retains the support of another court – that of public opinion.

He is adamant voters back his radical plan to curb illegal migration – and has staked his premiership on it.