“The asylum system is completely broken”: An analysis of justifications and resistance for the UK Government’s Rwanda policy in parliamentary debates

Parker, Samuel and Cornell, Josephine (2024) “The asylum system is completely broken”: An analysis of justifications and resistance for the UK Government’s Rwanda policy in parliamentary debates. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines, 16 (1). ISSN 1752-3079

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Abstract

In April 2022, the UK government announced the signing of a ‘partnership agreement’ with the Government of Rwanda in which some asylum seekers who enter the UK would be transported to Rwanda where their cases would be decided. This ‘Rwanda policy’ has been met with strong resistance from opposition politicians. This paper examines how the UK Government has sought to justify this ‘offshore processing’ policy and the ways in which the policy is resisted by politicians from the Opposition. We present a discursive analysis of the transcript of the Home Office’s statement to the House of Commons on the “Global Migration Challenge” and the subsequent debate among Members of Parliament about the statement. We identified three discursive repertoires that politicians on opposing sides used to both justify and resist the Rwanda policy, specifically repertoires focussing on the safety of Rwanda, the need to deter people smugglers and be in line with ‘what the people want’. Despite political polarisation in the debate on this policy, we argue that the use of similar discursive devices to both justify and resist this policy creates problems for supporters of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in carving out a clear discursive space for their arguments.

Item Type: Article
Dates:
DateEvent
1 April 2024Accepted
4 April 2024Published Online
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-01 - psychology (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2024 13:17
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2024 13:17
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15460

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