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Controversy Surrounds UK’s “Safety of Rwanda Bill” as Prime Minister Vows to Bypass International Law

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak remains resolute in his pursuit of deporting illegal immigrants to Rwanda, despite facing opposition from some members of his own Conservative party and concerns about potential violations of international law.

Sunak’s Legislation Advances

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Rishi Sunak is actively pushing forward a proposed law known as the “Safety of Rwanda Bill,” aimed at granting the government authority to deport migrants who enter the UK without permission to Rwanda. He has affirmed his willingness to disregard international legal considerations to ensure the deportation of these migrants.

Controversial Bill Passes House of Commons

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The “Safety of Rwanda Bill” successfully cleared the lower House of Commons with a vote tally of 320 in favor and 276 against. Nevertheless, 11 Conservative lawmakers dissented from their party’s stance.

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Overriding a Supreme Court Decision

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The essence of this legislation is to overturn a ruling by the UK Supreme Court in November, which had declared the policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda as unlawful.

Deporting Asylum Seekers to Rwanda

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Under the proposed plan, migrants entering Britain illegally could potentially be sent over 4,000 miles away to Rwanda, where their asylum claims would be processed. The legislation categorizes Rwanda as a safe destination for deporting asylum seekers.

Bill Moves to House of Lords

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The “Safety of Rwanda Bill” now proceeds to the unelected upper chamber of Parliament, the House of Lords, where Rishi Sunak does not hold an automatic majority. Opposition from several peers concerned about potential breaches of international law looms.

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Sunak’s Determination

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Sunak expressed his unwavering resolve, emphasizing that the treaty with Rwanda has been signed, and the legislation designating Rwanda as a safe country has been approved without amendments in the elected chamber.

Crackdown on Illegal Immigration

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Since taking office in late 2022, Sunak has pledged to reduce the influx of illegal immigrants into the UK.

Curbing The English Channel Crossing

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His efforts include curbing the dangerous journey undertaken by individuals traveling approximately 20 miles across the English Channel from France in small boats.

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“Stop the Boats” Campaign

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Sunak’s campaign to combat illegal immigration has been labeled as “stop the boats.”

European Court of Human Rights’ Intervention

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A planned flight for deporting migrants to Rwanda was thwarted when the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) invoked its Rule 39 provision, effectively issuing a temporary emergency injunction.

Exceptional Order

Such orders are exceptional and are used when applicants face a significant risk of serious and irreversible harm, often to prevent asylum seekers from being deported.

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Sunak’s Defiance

THE HAGUE, 15 APRIL 2013 – Court room of the International Court of Justice ready to hold the hearings regarding the dispute between Cambodia and Thailand about the Preha Veahar temple
 — Photo by ankorlight

Rishi Sunak has made it unequivocal that he will not allow a foreign court to obstruct deportation efforts. He stated that ministers hold the power to make these decisions, and Parliament has endorsed this authority.

Domestic Courts’ Compliance

The bill includes provisions emphasizing that domestic courts should respect the government’s decisions in deportation matters. Sunak asserted his readiness to utilize this clause if needed.

First Flights to Rwanda

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Sunak has previously announced his intention for the initial deportation flights to commence in the spring.

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Rebellion Within Tory Ranks

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Approximately 60 Conservative Members of Parliament (MPs) defied the government by voting in favor of amendments aimed at strengthening the law.

Proposals To Limit Appeals

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These amendments included proposals to limit appeals and curtail interventions from international courts regarding deportation flights. None of these amendments received approval.

The Upcoming Question

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As the bill proceeds to the House of Lords, Prime Minister Sunak posed a critical question: Will opposition members in the appointed House of Lords seek to obstruct the will of the people, as expressed by the elected House, or will they align themselves with the government’s stance and uphold the proposed law?

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