British parliament approves plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda

AFPBritish Prime Minister Sunak during a press conference on Monday

NOS News•today, 01:47•Changed today, 06:57

The UK can deport illegal migrants to Rwanda by air. Parliament has passed the controversial law allowing this. Rwanda has now been declared a safe country with this legislation to prevent legal objections to deportations.

The law has been the subject of long debate in Britain. The government has been trying to get the plan through for years, but has always encountered resistance. The law was announced two years ago. This was followed by a legal battle and then a parliamentary trial. The Rwanda plan was previously blocked by the highest court in the United Kingdom, on the objection that Rwanda would not be safe for migrants and asylum seekers.

In November, the UK’s highest courts ruled that placing asylum seekers and migrants elsewhere is possible, but that the designated place must be safe. Rwanda was labeled “not safe” by the judges: there was a risk that the migrants would ultimately be unlawfully returned to their country of origin. In addition, there were concerns about the asylum process in the African country.

NOSRwanda and the United Kingdom

That problem has now been resolved by British Prime Minister Sunak. With the new legislation, the Prime Minister has achieved that the safety argument is no longer an obstacle. The House of Commons has now declared Rwanda safe. This was preceded by a marathon fight between the House of Lords (House of Lords) and the House of Commons (House of Commons) that lasted well into the night. The law is likely to be signed by King Charles on Tuesday. According to Sunak, the first plane will take to the skies to Rwanda in 10 to 12 weeks.

Watch the House of Lords pass the motion:

British parliament votes for controversial Rwanda law

The law is intended to deter migrants from making illegal journeys to England. Two years ago, a plane carrying asylum seekers about to depart for Kigali was stopped on the runway by a European judge. The British plan is being followed with great interest by other European countries. It may set a precedent on how to deal with asylum seekers.

United Kingdom correspondent Fleur Launspach:

“The legislation was stuck in a kind of ping-pong procedure, as they call it here. The House of Lords, which kept trying to amend it, and the House of Commons, which then voted down those amendments. Due to all the legal problems and lawsuits and then this parliamentary It took two years of ping-pong. But now that this law has been introduced, judges and lawyers can no longer say that Rwanda is unsafe. Ministers can even overrule international courts.

The whole idea behind the Rwanda plan is to deter people. The British are looking for a new model to discourage people from making the dangerous crossing to the UK. People who arrive illegally will not be allowed to claim asylum in the UK, and could be flown to Rwanda to claim asylum. This means that the asylum procedure is outsourced to a completely different country. The fact that Sunak got this law – which actually declares Rwanda safe – through is a major victory for Prime Minister Sunak. This paves the way for him to fulfill one of his core promises – ‘to stop the boats’.

But the question is: will the risk of a ‘one-way ticket to Rwanda’ really discourage migrants and asylum seekers from coming to the United Kingdom? Because it has been discussed with much fanfare for two years, but in that time around 75,000 people have still crossed the English Channel. Will that change once people are actually put on a plane to Rwanda? That remains to be seen.

Other European countries are watching this law with interest. For example, Dutch politicians have indicated that they are interested in a similar plan and in Germany and Italy there is also interest in having asylum procedures take place in another country.”

This policy is of great importance to the Conservative Prime Minister. It is an election year in Britain and his party is not doing well in the polls. The focus on illegal immigration is somewhat distorted: the number of people arriving in the UK illegally by boat is roughly 40,000 per year – out of proportion to the approximately 1.2 million immigrants who enter the country legally.

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