The British newspaper, The Times, revealed that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce plans to send migrants crossing the English Channel to Rwanda as part of a “secret deal costing the British government millions of pounds to be offered to the African country.”
A government source said the prime minister had been told the plans were not quite ready after he had intended to announce them last week after an increase in the number of migrants crossing the Channel..
Ministers are awaiting Home Secretary Priti Patel’s Citizenship and Borders Bill, which would enable asylum seekers to deal with them abroad, before finalizing the terms of the deal with Rwanda.
The plan would see the government transfer asylum seekers to Rwanda to deal with them there while the UK pays the African country millions of pounds.
On Monday evening, the House of Lords voted against the bill, extending the parliamentary battle over the main bill.
It comes as the number of immigrants who have crossed the Channel so far this year exceeded 4,500 – a figure that wasn’t reached until June in 2021. That year, a total of 28,526 people crossed the Channel, but this year it is expected to break that number. .
She described the deal as “secret” as ministers were only allowed to refer to “Country X” during meetings.
In addition to opposition in the House of Lords, the bill met resistance in the House of Commons as Conservative MP David Davis introduced an amendment to overturn the measures.
Peers have asked for significant changes which have included removing a broad clause to criminalize intentional access to the UK without permission, and ensuring that any transition to overseas asylum applications is subject to approval by both houses of Parliament, along with an apportionment of the cost.
The High Chamber has also upheld protections against prosecution for people who have conducted rescues at sea, by providing a “reasonable excuse” defence, while taking steps to prevent asylum seekers from being treated differently based on how they entered the UK.
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