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HomeBilateral RelationsUK PM Urges Support for Rwanda Emergency Bill After Immigration Minister Quits

UK PM Urges Support for Rwanda Emergency Bill After Immigration Minister Quits

United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday called on “everyone” to support his government’s latest bill that would allow the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda after Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick resigned on Wednesday.

“This bill blocks every single reason that has ever been used to prevent flights to Rwanda from taking off,” Sunak said at a press conference at Downing Street.

In April 2022, the UK reached a deal with Rwanda, under which illegal immigrants and asylum seekers would be sent to the east African country to have their claims processed there. If successful, they would be granted permanent residency in Rwanda rather than allowed to return to the UK.

The scheme, however, has met resistance. The first flight, which was scheduled to take seven migrants to Rwanda in June last year, was canceled after a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights. Last month, the UK’s Supreme Court ruled that the government’s deportation scheme of asylum seekers to Rwanda was unlawful.

Sunak’s government unveiled an emergency legislation — the Safety of Rwanda Bill — on Wednesday. But Tory hardliners thought the new bill was not harsh enough. Jenrick resigned, saying the emergency bill “does not go far enough” and will not work.

In his response to Jenrick’s resignation, Sunak argued that the emergency bill went as far as the government could. “If we were to oust the courts entirely, we would collapse the entire scheme.”

“This bill will work … We will get flights off the ground, we will deter illegal migrants from coming here and we will finally stop the boats,” Sunak told reporters.

“What everyone should do is support this bill,” he added.

UK lawmakers will hold their first vote on the Rwanda emergency bill next Tuesday, Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons, has confirmed. 

Xinhua

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