Controversial UK immigration bill faces strong opposition in the House of Lords

Controversial UK immigration bill faces strong opposition in the House of Lords

...By Henry George for TDPel Media.

UK peers are debating a controversial bill aimed at curbing “small boat” crossings in the Channel, which would allow the government to forcibly deport migrants or send them to countries like Rwanda.


The Archbishop of Canterbury, along with dozens of Labour, Liberal Democrat, crossbench and some Conservative peers, oppose the legislation.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Paddick is due to propose a “fatal motion” to kill off the bill, although this is unlikely to be approved.

Concerns over the length of the debate:

The debate at Second Reading was scheduled to begin at 11 am.

Green peer Baroness Jenny Jones criticised the government for cramming the debate into one day, and tweeted that 87 peers had signed up to speak for six minutes each.

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She believes the high number of speakers demonstrates the depth of concern.

Arguments from both sides:

Attorney General Suella Braverman and Justice Secretary Alex Chalk argue that the bill is necessary to stop “uncontrolled and illegal” migration, which they say threatens the public’s support for “legitimate” refugees.


However, peers are seeking to make a series of amendments, including opening up more safe routes for asylum seekers to reach Britain and to stop holding child migrants in detention centres.

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The Archbishop has criticised the plan to send migrants to Rwanda as “ungodly”.

Possible outcomes:

Peers are unlikely to completely block the bill, but may seek to delay its passage through Parliament to force the government to make changes.

One of Rishi Sunak’s five pledges is to pass legislation to “stop the boats”.

Meanwhile, a barge which the government plans to use to house up to 500 migrants has arrived in Falmouth, Cornwall, and will be moved to Portland of Port in Dorset in the coming weeks.

Analysis and commentary:

The migrant bill has been a contentious issue, with concerns being raised by various organisations about the potential human rights violations of forcibly deporting people or sending them to countries that may not have the necessary infrastructure to support them.

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The debate in the House of Lords may result in amendments that offer greater protection to asylum seekers, or it may not have much of an impact on the final outcome of the bill.

The arrival of the barge in Cornwall is likely to raise further questions about the government’s approach to housing asylum seekers and how they plan to address the wider issue of migration.


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