Breaking News

British Parliament

British Parliament Approves Controversial Plan to Deport Asylum Seekers to Rwanda

London, April 23, 2024, The Europe Today: In a late-night session on Monday, the British Parliament approved a contentious plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda following a prolonged debate between the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The bill, which had faced resistance and amendments from the House of Lords, passed its final hurdle when the upper house agreed not to further alter the legislation. Lawmakers in the House of Commons had previously rejected amendments made by the Lords last week, underscoring the contentious nature of the proposal.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced ahead of the vote that deportation flights to Rwanda would commence in the coming months, emphasizing the government’s readiness to implement the plan despite legal and humanitarian concerns.

The legislation represents a response by Sunak’s government to a Supreme Court ruling that deemed deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda a violation of international law. The bill designates Rwanda as a “safe third country” and grants UK lawmakers the authority to bypass certain international and human rights laws.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially proposed the idea of sending migrants to Rwanda in 2022, but legal challenges have impeded its implementation until now.

Critics, including the charity Care4Calais, have denounced the plan as a costly and inhumane “gimmick,” highlighting the exorbitant financial expense and the ethical implications of deporting vulnerable individuals fleeing conflict and hardship.

Despite government assertions that the policy will deter asylum seekers from attempting to reach the UK, its effectiveness remains uncertain. Over 120,000 people have crossed the English Channel illegally since 2018, with dozens tragically losing their lives during the perilous journey.

UN human rights experts have cautioned that airlines involved in the deportation scheme could face charges of complicity in violating international law, adding to the ethical and legal complexities surrounding the controversial initiative.

The approval of this legislation represents a significant and polarizing development in the UK’s immigration policy, raising broader questions about the country’s approach to asylum seekers and its adherence to international legal norms.