May 22, 2024

Controversy over asylum deal with Rwanda: British House of Commons against changes – Politics

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's controversial bill to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda could be passed this week: after the Commons rejected all amendments on Tuesday, the bill will now be put to a vote in Parliament's upper house on Wednesday. If passed without changes, it could take effect this week.

The bill aims to end the legal ban on deporting asylum seekers by declaring Rwanda a safe country and repealing parts of the UK's Human Rights Act. The rejected amendments aimed, among other things, at bringing the law into line with national and international law and exempting people working with British forces from deportation to Rwanda.

But even if the law is passed quickly, it could still be weeks before the first deportation flights begin. The bill is intended to prevent British courts from deciding that Rwanda is a safe country. However, each person who is deported may take legal action separately.

Asylum seekers arriving in small rubber boats through the English Channel on the south coast of England will be deported to Rwanda under the so-called Rwanda scheme. This year alone, 2,500 boats have arrived. However, no one has been deported yet, as the legal conditions have not yet been finally clarified.

Sunak has invested a lot of political capital in Rwandan politics and hopes the deportation flights will turn the tide for his conservative party, which is lagging far behind in the polls, ahead of elections later this year. The government wants to prevent people from making the dangerous crossing across the English Channel and reduce the cost of their stay by being deported to Rwanda. This is currently around three billion pounds ($3.8 billion) a year. The government plans to send thousands of asylum seekers to Rwanda, although the East African country can currently only accept a few hundred people.

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