United Kingdom Sunak saves, for now, the shell of the plan to deport migrants to Rwanda

The British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, saved by a difference of 44 votes the extraordinary bill that designates Rwanda as a safe country in the field of asylum and migration, and strengthens the treaty agreed with the Government of Kigali to welcome refugees and process on African soil their requests for help

United Kingdom Sunak saves, for now, the shell of the plan to deport migrants to Rwanda

The British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, saved by a difference of 44 votes the extraordinary bill that designates Rwanda as a safe country in the field of asylum and migration, and strengthens the treaty agreed with the Government of Kigali to welcome refugees and process on African soil their requests for help. It contains measures aimed at preventing appeals in the courts, which call into question its constitutional legitimacy and respect for universal law. It is a pyrrhic victory that places the head of the conservative government between the ropes.

The right of the government party challenged Sunak's authority and promoted abstention in the 'second reading' of this legislative proposal, which reaffirms the sovereignty of the United Kingdom Parliament, limits the powers of the British courts, stops applying sections of the Convention European Court of Human Rights and recognizes the power of a ministerial position to ignore resolutions of the Strasbourg Court or other international forums that block the sending of one or more refugees to Rwanda.

Formally titled 'Rwanda Security (Asylum and Immigration)', it includes Sunak's response to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, which judged illegal the delivery of migrants to the African country, where their asylum requests would be processed, in the forceful ruling issued on November 15. The bill, which the Government is urgently processing, legally reinforces the 2022 immigration-trade Memorandum between the two countries, which has been elevated to the category of bilateral Treaty with binding conditions for both signatory parties.

The bill suffered a ministerial loss days ago, in the figure of Secretary of State Robert Jenrick, who criticized the "enormous defects" of the draft and claimed the "sovereignty" of the Westminster Parliament in his intervention in the House debate of the Commons, which preceded the vote.

The session was opened by the new head of the Interior, James Cleverly, who presented the Rwanda plan as an "innovative and humane solution" to the migration crisis that affects the United Kingdom to a lesser extent than its old European partners. The proposals aim to protect the export of migrants to Africa from the "endless cycle of legal challenges" and are "very close to the limit" of constitutional legality, although they fit "within the framework of international law," according to the minister.

The Rwanda plan has cost some 400 million euros in funds advanced to African partners without a single plane having taken off with migrants to Kigali, according to the Labor head of the Interior, Yvette Cooper. For its boss, Keir Starmer, it is a "farce" that will end if the center-left party wins the 2024 elections, as polls project.

The legal text represents a fundamental balance to avoid the bankruptcy of the conservative party and government. It contains measures to satisfy the parliamentary group or, at least, prevent the hemorrhage of support from both the right and the centrists who have regained weight and voice under Sunak's leadership. The prime minister once again asked for the consensus of all factions - this week he repeated the message of "union or death" that he launched when he took over the leadership fourteen months ago - and declared himself willing to "adjust" the content of the proposal during its parliamentary processing.

For now, the moderate Tories - the largest group with a hundred deputies - indicated the day before that they would vote in favor in this initial phase of the process. They warned, however, that they will withdraw their support if the prime minister responds to the concerns of the abstentionist reactionary wing and accepts amendments contrary to international standards on migration, asylum and human rights.

The seriousness of the situation led Downing Street to order the return from Dubai of the Secretary of State for Climate Change in order to ensure his presence during the vote. Other parties also called up their members, including a delegation of deputies that suspended a planned official trip to the Caribbean.