The Independent Debate

Is it time the Rwanda scheme was scrapped? Join the Independent Debate

There has been significant division on both sides of the Conservative Party over the bill

Tuesday 12 December 2023 19:48 GMT
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Home Secretary James Cleverly and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta in Kigali (Ben Birchall/PA)
Home Secretary James Cleverly and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta in Kigali (Ben Birchall/PA) (PA Wire)

The Prime Minister has successfully defused a Tory revolt, following a crunch vote on his flagship migration policy.

The government’s new Rwanda bill would order British judges and courts to ignore some sections of the UK Human Rights Act to allow for the deportation of asylum seekers to the African country.

Under the plan, asylum seekers that arrive in Britain will be sent to Rwanda for processing where they could either be granted refugee status or allowed to stay.

If not, they could apply to settle there on other grounds or seek asylum in another “safe third country”. So far, no asylum seekers have been sent there.

There has been significant division on both sides of the Conservative Party over the bill, with the prime minister facing another battle with his own MPs within weeks after parliament backed his emergency legislation by 313 votes to 269.

And he now faces an uphill struggle to pass the bill at its next hurdle after Tory rebels, many of whom abstained instead of voting it down, warned they could not support it without significant changes.

It comes as Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker waded into the long-running debate, signing a letter, along with dozens of celebrities and high-profile figures, calling for a new asylum system that “reflects the will of the British people”.

We want to know if you think it’s time the divisive immigration scheme was scrapped altogether? What would a new asylum system look like to you?

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