In a boost for Britain’s Indian-origin Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, MPs in the House of Commons approved by 313 votes to 269 what is called a second reading of a House of Commons Bill, which aims to deport to Rwanda asylum seekers arriving in the UK, who in the British government’s assessment are ineligible.
Sunak said: “The British people should decide who gets to come to this country — not criminal gangs or foreign courts. That’s what this Bill delivers.”
A seven-hour debate occurred on a day when news broke of an asylum seeker housed on a barge off the southern English coast — whose application was being processed — being found dead on the vessel.
The Guardian reported he “is believed to have killed himself”. The Times headlined ‘Migrant dies in “suicide” on Bibby Stockholm barge’.
Mark Francois, representing a significant number of right-wing Conservative MPs, told the press that this group could not support the Bill in the third reading, expected to be introduced in the New Year.
For the moment, they refrained from pulling the rug on Sunak on the basis that he had indicated to them that he was willing to accept amendments that would tighten the Bill.