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United Kingdom: Parliament gives green light to expel migrants to Rwanda |  The migrant crisis

United Kingdom: Parliament gives green light to expel migrants to Rwanda | The migrant crisis

Defeating a rebellion attempt on his majority, British Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak won the green light from MPs on Wednesday for his bill – controversial but crucial to his political survival – aimed at deporting illegal immigrants to Rwanda.

After two tense days at the Palace of Westminster, heated debates, closed-door negotiations and resignations, dissidents returned to the ranks, and the text was approved in the House of Commons by 320 votes in favor and 276 against. .

This was a relief to Rishi Sunak. Trailing well in the Labor polls at the start of the election year, he threw his weight behind the plan, which is seen as showing his commitment to a core concern of his base, but which would have severely exposed divisions. In its majority, moderates fear an attack on international law and the far right wants to go further.

The text aims to respond to objections from the British Supreme Court, which ruled the scheme illegal in its previous version, particularly over fears for the safety of asylum seekers sent to Rwanda.

According to the scheme, the latter, wherever they come from, will have their file checked in Rwanda and then cannot return to the UK under any circumstances, and can only seek asylum in the African country if successful.

During its examination, dozens of conservative representatives futilely supported amendments aimed at tightening the text, particularly those that sought to limit the right of immigrants to appeal their deportation.

Tensions rose a notch after the resignations of two Conservative Party vice-leaders, hardliners backed by former prime minister Boris Johnson.

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Condemnation of BillUN

Announced in April 2022, the plan aims to encourage the arrival of migrants in small boats across the Channel: almost 30,000 last year, after a record in 2022 (45,000).

Last weekend, five migrants died trying to cross the freezing waters by boat. An Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer noted that on Wednesday morning, other boats were seen attempting the perilous crossing.

Protesters condemned the government's decision to deport illegal immigrants to the UK in 2022. (archive photo)

Photo: Reuters / Henry Nicholls

However, the text has not yet been implemented. The first flight was blocked at the last minute by a ruling by European courts, and then British courts, up to the Supreme Court, declared the plan illegal in its initial version.

The government signed a new agreement with Rwanda to try to save its text, which has been heavily criticized by humanitarian groups. The new bill is backed by a new bill that defines Rwanda as a safe third country and prevents migrants from returning to their home country.

It also proposes not to use certain provisions of the UK Human Rights Act to exclude and limit legal support.

A company calledUN The UNHCR on Wednesday assessed that the latest version of the draft was not available Not ideal with international law.

A year after entering Downing Street, Rishi Sunak is hoping the success of the plan will show he is capable of keeping one of his key promises: ending the influx of migrant boats on British shores. .

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His bill must now be approved by unelected members of the House of Lords, who could well amend it.

If it is adopted before the general election, scheduled for the fall, Keir Starmer's Labor Party, which has been in opposition for 14 years, has vowed to repeal it.

Tightening too much could weaken the partnership with Rwanda, which already receives nearly 240 million pounds (almost 411 million Canadian dollars) from the United Kingdom.

This money will be used only if available [migrants] are coming If not, you can return itRwandan President Paul Kagame spoke Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.