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British Parliament Set To Pass Controversial Rwanda Asylum Bill

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This week, the British parliament is finally expected to pass a contentious bill that would allow asylum seekers to be repatriated to Rwanda; yet, additional legal challenges may delay or even completely destroy one of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s most important initiatives.

Given his assurance that the Rwanda plan will prevent tens of thousands of people from crossing the Channel in small boats without authorization, Sunak has committed a significant amount of political capital to it. The project’s success or failure might have a significant impact on the fortunes of his Conservative party in an impending election.

By the end of the week, MPs should approve the new legislation as is.

However, it is far from certain whether Sunak’s pledge to launch the Rwanda plan by the middle of the year would come to fruition.

According to Paul O’Connell of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, which has filed challenges against the policy in the past and is planning more, “we believe the legislation is completely performative.”

“We think the government knows it hasn’t got a cat in hells chance of surviving a legal challenge, but they just want to keep it alive as an issue to fight in the general election.”

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) stopped the first scheduled deportation flight in June 2022, and the UK Supreme Court ruled last year that the programme was illegal.

In an attempt to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision, Sunak’s new law, which disapplies certain current human rights regulations, mandates that British judges view Rwanda as a safe haven for travellers. It also restricts people’s possibilities for requests for only special cases.

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