Prime Minister Rishi Sunak narrowly avoided a major defeat in Parliament on Tuesday evening in a row over Britain’s asylum deal with Rwanda. On second reading, a majority of MPs voted in favor of a hastily introduced government bill aimed at saving the asylum agreement with Rwanda, which was declared illegal by the High Court.
Earlier there was great doubt whether Sunak could get the necessary majority behind him. Both the right and the left of his party had major reservations about the proposed law. In the end, 313 MPs voted in favor of the bill and 269 MPs voted against it. London wants to prevent migrants, regardless of their origin, from being sent to Rwanda without having their asylum application examined in the future to prevent irregular arrivals. Instead, they must seek safety there – with no plans to return to Great Britain. However, the British Supreme Court raised concerns about the Rwandan asylum process and declared the program illegal in mid-November.
To prevent migrants, London wants to send irregular arrivals to Rwanda in the future, regardless of their origin, without examining their asylum applications. Instead, they must seek safety there – with no plans to return to Great Britain. However, the British Supreme Court has raised concerns about Rwandan asylum practices. To alleviate these concerns, the government in London now wants to declare Rwanda a legally safe third country, while excluding legal aid in Great Britain, citing human rights.
Sunak has made stopping irregular immigration a central focus of his government. In 2022 alone, around 45,000 people reached Great Britain via the English Channel in small boats. This number has dropped significantly so far this year. However, the promise is not considered fulfilled.
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