Anybody who keeps an eye on the news knows that Westminster has been turbulent of late. A friend texted me over the weekend to ask: “Are we witnessing the end of democracy?”

I texted back: “No, we are seeing democracy in action.”

The truth is democracy is messy and often tempestuous. It attracts people with strong opinions and personal ambition. It grapples with issues on which there are deep passions and diametrically opposite views. Passionate debate is the stuff of democracy. Sometimes we need to walk through the drama of stormy division to arrive at the right policy.

What is the latest kerfuffle all about? It is a legitimate debate about how we stop people from challenged parts of North Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, handing over their life savings to unscrupulous human traffickers and somehow travelling through several European countries to get on fragile boats to cross the channel to claim asylum in the UK.

It raises all kinds of issues expressed on a daily basis in my constituency inbox. Here are some key points: The vast majority do not try to come to the UK but claim asylum in other EU countries. All of the “boat people” have travelled through safe European countries before attempting the perilous channel crossing. Many of them are not fleeing persecution or war, but simply a better life in the West. The channel crossing is very dangerous, and many have died attempting it. The people coming are not the most vulnerable, but they are the aspirant people with savings. It is a very difficult problem to solve (or we would have solved it). There is no magic wand.

It is perfectly legitimate for any government to put in place a deterrent to try to stop illegal migrants getting on the boats. If people know that if they arrive illegally into the UK they will be flown to Rwanda and their asylum claim processed there and if successful, that is where they will be allowed to live, this will be a formidable deterrent to anybody not genuinely fleeing persecution.

That is what we are trying to do. Some say we have not gone far enough. Some say Rwanda is not safe. Some say we should let them all stay here. Passions abound on all sides. That is why the debate is so heated and explosive.

But it is democracy in action. Messy but real.