The House of Commons of the United Kingdom approved this Wednesday the bill that seeks deport migrants to Rwanda. The vote ended with 320 deputies in favor and 276 against, so the plan will now go to the House of Lords for a second examination.
This definition, which concluded with a wide margin between detractors and promoters, also represented a great relief for the prime minister, Rishi Sunaksince it was a significant threat to his leadership.
Since arriving in Downing Street, Sunak has been committed to reducing immigration from the United Kingdom, which has reached record levels, as well as preventing asylum seekers from crossing from France into its territory by boat. That is why he promoted this project, which he considers essential to discourage people from traveling on unauthorized routes.
However, a group of conservative MPs Members of his party had raised their opposition to the possible Rwanda Security Law (Asylum and Immigration) and their negative vote could have unfavorably tilted the balance of the president, who bet his political future on the plan.
The rebels considered that the guidelines did not go far enough but Sunak was opposed to giving rise to their proposal since he considered that, if he did so, it would be completely vetoed by the moderate wing, which already considers it to be at the limit of what is acceptable.
Among the conservative detractors is the former prime minister Boris Johnson that, although he is not a deputy and did not participate in the vote, he did express his support for the dissidents.
Finally, these nearly 60 legislators backed down, allowing the initiative to win.
In any case, Sunak must still work to regain the support of the main opposition group, Labor, before the national vote given that his party is plagued by factions. Even in the Lords, the Government does not have a majority and, if it does not obtain more support, it could end up in a new battle between politicians.
Likewise, the text could face legal appeals from humanitarian organizations that further prolong the debate.
The bill dates back to April 2022, when Johnson first announced the plan but was blocked by the European Court of Human Rights and local justice, which declared it illegal.
Later, it was taken up as a response by the current British leader to a ruling by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom dating from the end of 2023, in which it was established that the deportation of asylum seekers to Kigali is illegal, in line with international law. .
That is why, now, Sunak proposes that Rwanda be considered a safe country and seeks to give ministers powers to ignore sections of international and British human rights law.
In December, the text had already been subjected to an initial two-day evaluation in the House of Commons, which ended with a first approval.
(With information from AFP)