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In London, the decisive green light has arrived from the House of Commons to the crucial legislative proposal implementing the so-called Rwanda bis plan, for the disputed paid transfer to the African country of quotas of asylum seekers who landed illegally in the United Kingdom. The measure was approved with 320 votes in favor and 276 against. Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has quelled a rebellion by members of the Tory right wing, avoiding a defeat with potentially catastrophic consequences for his government.
The internal revolt
Sunak managed to tame an internal revolt: 60 MPs from the majority had supported two amendments to make the text even more draconian, at the cost of releasing Great Britain from some of the constraints imposed by its accession to the European Convention on Human Rights. Changes to the provision were also forcefully requested in today’s debate in Parliament by leading figures of the party, such as the former Interior Minister and anti-immigration hawk Suella Braverman. “This is the last chance to make the bill work,” said Braverman, a staunch supporter of the transfer of asylum seekers to Africa. Among the Frondists, the two vice-presidents of the Conservatives, Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith, had also come forward, willing to resign from their position in order to vote in favor of the amendments. There was no lack of intervention via social media from former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who despite his forced exit from politics wanted to offer his support to the rebels. But at this evening’s showdown, only a few Tory MPs – 11 diehards – voted against the measure.
The green light
In extremis, therefore, the British Conservative government passed the decisive vote on the law. For the measure, central to the hard line on border control adopted by the Prime Minister in an attempt to get back on top of the current disastrous polls in view of the political elections scheduled for later this year, all that remains is the ritual passage to the House of Lords. Then we will have to see its practical implementation, which involves the departure of the first plane with migrants on board for Rwanda. However, a rejection with catastrophic consequences for the Sunak government was avoided, also thanks to some partial concessions from the executive with respect to the strengthening amendments proposed by the internal right to try to limit the power of intervention of international justice, in defiance of the protests from ‘Un. According to BBC estimates, thirty Nos from the majority party, added to those from the opposition, would have been enough to scuttle the Rwanda plan.