Rishi Sunak gets a respite after UK lawmakers vote in favor of the Rwanda migration bill

New leader of Britain’s Conservative Party Rishi Sunak stands outside the party’s headquarters in London, Britain, October… LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers voted Tuesday to support the government’s plan to send some asylum-seekers on a one-way trip to Rwanda, keeping alive a policy that has angered human rights groups and cost the U.K. at least $300 million, without a single flight getting off the ground. The House of Commons voted 313-269 to approve the government’s Rwanda bill in principle, sending it on for further scrutiny. The result averts a defeat that would have left Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s authority shredded and his government teetering. It buys Sunak some breathing space, but tees up further wrangling in the coming weeks. The bill seeks to overcome a ruling by the U.K. Supreme Court that the plan to send migrants who reach Britain across the English Channel in boats to Rwanda – where they would stay permanently — is illegal. The Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill faces criticism both from Conservative centrists who think it skirts with breaking international law, and from lawmakers on the party’s authoritarian right, who say it doesn’t go far enough to ensure migrants who arrive in the U.K. without permission can be deported. READ MORE: UK government still wants to send migrants to Rwanda, even after Supreme Court rules it’s illegal The government was so nervous about the result that it ordered Climate Minister Graham Stuart to fly back from the COP28 summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where negotiations are in their final hours, for the vote. But after threatening to block the bill on Tuesday, many of the hard-liners abstained in hopes of toughening it up later in the legislative process. After the vote, Sunak said on social media that “the British people […]

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