British lawmakers pass controversial bill to send asylum seekers to Rwanda

The "Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill," the flagship asylum policy of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, was backed by a vote of 320-276, Anadolu Agency reports.
Protestors stand outside The Royal Court of Justice in London, opposing the Home Office's new asylum deal with Rwanda. Friday, June 10, 2022.
Protestors stand outside The Royal Court of Justice in London, opposing the Home Office's new asylum deal with Rwanda. Friday, June 10, 2022.(File Photo |AP)

A majority of British lawmakers voted Wednesday to back a controversial bill that would allow the government to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Despite some threats from "Conservative rebels" to bring the bill down, it passed the third reading in the House of Commons.

The "Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill," the flagship asylum policy of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, was backed by a vote of 320-276, Anadolu Agency reports.

The bill, which was submitted to parliament last month, aims to address the concerns of the UK Supreme Court, which ruled that the government's original plan to send asylum seekers to the East African country was unlawful, the report added.

The Rwanda Safety Bill is supposed to end legal challenges that have thus far prevented Britain from sending refugees to Rwanda, after the two countries struck a deal back in 2022. The deal came after a dramatic increase in refugees arriving in Britain via small boats arranged by human trafficking gangs, CNN reports.

The UK wants to send people arriving illegally in Britain to Rwanda where they will remain while their asylum claims are processed. If they are successful, they will be able to return to the UK. If they are unsuccessful, they will be able to stay in Rwanda or seek asylum elsewhere, the report added.

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