Immigration has been a highly popular topic in UK politics, especially with the Tory government's efforts to massively reduce the number of asylum seekers. During his prime ministerial campaign, Rishi Sunak promised to 'Stop the Boats,' recognizing the significant financial burden of processing immigrants, averaging around £3 billion per year.
Understanding the UK's majority public topics of interest comes into play. Studies show that it's the second most important issue for members of the public according to YouGov's poll of public opinion. Note this does not stand for everyone in the UK and only people who took part in the poll. To add, Brexit was massively due to this increase of immigration and Britain's voters' loyalties.
The Rwanda Deportation Bill is the UK's efforts to deport any asylum seekers. The process is; once immigrants arrive in the UK, they are sent to Rwanda, a country situated in Central Africa. The Bill hopes to deter people from making the treacherous journey across channels via small boats or dinghies unfit for traveling long distances. The threat still doesn't stop the journey taken but rather threatens those that arrive. Therefore, the idea of Britain looking out for the safety of asylum seekers is diminished.
This Bill was put out in 2022 by Boris Johnson, and anyone who illegally arrived in the UK would be sent away, but this never happened because the European Court of Human Rights stopped it. This was because of the unknowing of the safety of Rwanda and the threat of being sent back to their country of fleeing.
Rishi Sunak introduces emergency legislation to address the issues raised by the Supreme Court and also creates a new treaty with Rwanda promising not to deport anyone back out of the country. Critics still question this approach in terms of its legality, promise, and overall legitimacy. It seems like a 'simple' solution but not so much when you consider the amount of processing, money, and flippantness of human rights.
The House of Commons voted in favor of the Bill after debate; it passed with a majority of 44, passing 269 with 313 votes for it. It seems this is only the beginning of Britain's efforts to combat immigration, with Rishi Sunak's plans to cut net immigration to under 100,000 annually.
Also, despite no deportation taking place, Britain has paid Rwanda £240 million already, but nothing has come from this massive deposit of money. Thousands of immigrants are set to be sent over, and Rwanda only has the capacity for a few hundred. Will this predict the future ongoing relations between the two countries? So the outcome and process of this bill are still yet to prove its success.
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