By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 14 December 2022 • 17:29
Image - Rwanda: Niko Nomad/shutterstock
The defeat in parliament on Wednesday, December 14 comes as a huge blow for those that supported the bill originally proposed by Priti Patel and put forward by MP Jonathan Gullis. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was said to be in favour of the legislation, did not turn up for the vote.
The bill, which would have seen the government deport asylum seekers even if a court ruled the deportation illegal, attracted just 69 votes in favour with 188 voting against.
Surprising to many was that many of those said to be backers of the bill either failed to turn up for the vote or did not cast one. Among those Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nadine Dorries both of whom have in the past voiced unhappiness with the UK’s continued membership of the European Court of Human Rights.
The court recently ruled against the UK’s deportation of asylum seekers earlier this year.
With more than £120 million already spent on the police and not one person sent to Rwanda, under pressure Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had vowed to plough on with the policy. The vote will be a major setback for the government which now finds itself having to look for alternate solutions.
If the bill had been approved the government would’ve been able to deport asylum seekers, genuine or not, without allowing them the opportunity to make a claim if they arrived by “illegal” means. It would also have meant the government would have been able to ignore any court decision that went against them on the issue.
With many still focused on those arriving by illegal means, little attention is being given to providing legal and safe passageways for those that are genuine asylum seekers.
Perhaps now that the human rights crackdown bill has suffered a massive defeat focus will shift to finding a better and more humane way of helping those who are genuine asylum seekers, and discouraging those who are not.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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