Home secretary told by court of appeal to ‘rapidly’ decide whether six families rescued from boat in 1998 can enter Britain

The court of appeal has ordered the UK home secretary to “rapidly” reconsider a previous decision not to allow people who have spent more than 18 years living at a British military base in Cyprus since being rescued from a boat to enter the UK.

Six families from Iraq, Sudan, Ethiopia and Syria were among 75 people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea in October 1998 from a Lebanese fishing vessel bound for Italy, which was abandoned by its smuggler crew after the engine failed.

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