Andrew Jones MP
Andrew Jones MP

Andrew Jones MP explains his decision to support the Rwanda Bill

13 December 2023

In November 2023, The Supreme Court held unanimously that the government’s Rwanda scheme (under which asylum seekers would be sent to Rwanda to have their claims decided there) was unlawful.

The court found that there were substantial grounds for believing that asylum seekers sent to Rwanda would face a real risk of ill-treatment as a result of “refoulement” (being returned) to their country of origin.

The “Safety of Rwanda Bill” passed its second reading in the House of Commons yesterday (12 December 2023). 269 voted against the bill, 313 for the bill, and 58 did not vote.

The bill creates a statutory obligation that every decision maker, including the courts, must treat Rwanda as a safe country,

Andrew Jones MP said:

There were two important considerations for me in supporting this Bill. The first was to recognise the role offshore processing can play in tackling illegal immigration and through that disrupt and break the business model of the people smugglers who make profit out of running risky routes across the Mediterranean, through mainland Europe and across the Channel. And secondly to prevent deaths by deterring people from making that risky journey.

This is complex and new territory so I discussed the matter very carefully with the Attorney General and was reassured by her answers, specifically that people may be sent on to other countries which may be unsafe. I want the UK to maintain its strong international standing and ensure it is parliament and not people smugglers who decide who can come here.

The loss of life when boats capsize in the Med or the Channel is tragic. The people smugglers must not win. Already we have seen crossings down by a third this year but that still means a lot of people are putting themselves in danger or being put in danger by criminal gangs. If we can do more to stop that then we should.

The Bill will now go to committee stage during 2024, at a date to be confirmed.

The Bill will be considered by the whole house, rather than by a dedicated public bill committee, allowing all MPs to take part in the debate and vote.

The legislation is then due to be considered at third reading before being passed to the House of Lords.

1 Comment

  1. ohh really andrew jones wow really is that true? if so glad he does something – Glad he supports something Does something if anything politics politicians they tend to talk the talk get the happy clappy brigade chirpy happy clappy hanging on to politicians evry word believe evrything they say dont say dont do

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