Do you agree with the government's Rwanda policy? Poll of the week

Yahoo UK's poll of the week lets you vote and indicate your strength of feeling on one of the week's hot topics. After 72 hours the poll closes and, each Friday, we'll publish and analyse the results, giving readers the chance to see how polarising a topic has become and if their view chimes with other Yahoo UK readers.

Rishi Sunak has said the Rwanda bill is a deterrent to stop people crossing the Channel on small boats. (PA)
Rishi Sunak has said the Rwanda bill is a deterrent to stop people crossing the Channel on small boats. (PA)

Parliament has passed plans for the UK to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The government's controversial Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill passed in the early hours of Tuesday after a long night of debate in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak says the policy will deter migrants from seeking to cross the English Channel.

On Tuesday morning, five people, including a child, died off the coast of northern France after a small boat carrying more than 110 people got into difficulties after setting off from Wimereux.

Sunak said the incident “underscores why you need a deterrent” and that criminal gangs were exploiting the vulnerable and “packing more and more people into these unseaworthy dinghies”.

Under the government's plan, any asylum seeker it says enters the UK "illegally" could be sent to Rwanda to have their asylum claims processed.

If their claim is successful, they could be given refugee status and allowed to remain in Rwanda, and if unsuccessful, they could apply to settle there on other grounds or seek asylum in another "safe" country. They would not be allowed to apply for a return to the UK.

Sunak said on Monday that the first flight to Rwanda could leave in 10 to 12 weeks, and that an airfield is on standby and the government has booked commercial charter planes.

But the United Nations has criticised the plan, with Filippo Grandi, UN high commissioner for refugees, calling on Sunak to reconsider, saying it sets a “worrying global precedent”.

Volker Turk, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said it “seriously hinders the rule of law in the UK" and that it reduces the ability of the UK’s courts to scrutinise removal decisions and limits human rights protections.

At the heart of the debate is the right to asylum, which is enshrined in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and which states:

  1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

  2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Come back on Friday to read the results and analysis via the link below.

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