BARROW and Furness MP Simon Fell voted in favour of the Rwanda immigration bill saying it is an important step towards 'stopping the boats' and creating a 'rational immigration and asylum system.'

MPs approved the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill at the second reading by 313 votes to 269, a majority of 44, on Tuesday.

The Safety of Rwanda Bill, along with a new treaty revealed last week with Kigali, is part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plan to appease concerns of the Supreme Court about the treatment of asylum seekers who could potentially be deported to the East African nation.

It is designed to declare Rwanda is a safe country for asylum processing purposes and prevent judges from blocking sending migrants who arrive via small boats after crossing the Channel on a one-way trip to Kigali.

The Home Office has confirmed £240 million has been paid to Kigali so far, with another payment of £50 million anticipated in 2024/25. No deportation flights have yet taken off.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper branded the proposal "extortionately expensive"

The Barrow and Furness Conservative MP Simon Fell voted in favour of the bill.

Mr Fell said: "As I made clear in my speech in the House of Commons, stopping the boats won’t happen through just one policy, but through a combination of measures - hard deterrence, returns agreements, partnership with France and the EU, bearing down on the people traffickers, and working with others to prevent the conflict and instability that is putting on the move in the first place.

"Passing this Bill is an important step toward stopping the boats and creating a rational immigration and asylum system. It's disappointing that every single Labour MP voted against yet another set of measures to control our borders while offering no alternative solution. People want to see these journeys ended for safety and humanitarian reasons - protest will not achieve that."

Following the result, the Prime Minister tweeted on X, formerly known as Twitter: “The British people should decide who gets to come to this country – not criminal gangs or foreign courts.

“That’s what this Bill delivers.

“We will now work to make it law so that we can get flights going to Rwanda and stop the boats.”