Sunak faces final showdown with Lords over Rwanda bill – UK politics live

1 month ago 16

Peers pass four amendments inserting safeguards into bill, including exempting migrants who helped British troops

Good morning. It is now more than five months since Rishi Sunak promised “emergency” legislation to address the supreme court judgment saying the government’s Rwanda deportation policy was unlawful. It has not proceeded at the pace of normal emergency legislation, but the safety of Rwanda (asylum and immigration) bill is now expected to clear parliament within the next 24/36 hours, and it should become law by the end of the week. (It does not became law until the king grants royal assent, and it can take a few hours to get Charles to sign the relevant bit of paper.)

But before parliamentary officials can send the bill to the Palace, the Commons and the Lords have to agree, and there are still four outstanding issues unresolved. Last night peers passed four amendments inserting safeguards into the bill. They would:

The problem is, we have no evidence that Rwanda is safe. All the evidence that is put before us demonstrates that at the moment it is not. The supreme court said in November it wasn’t safe. We signed a treaty with Rwanda which was supposed to remedy the defects, and this Act will come into force when the treaty comes into force. But even the treaty itself accepts that signing the treaty doesn’t make Rwanda safe.

All this amendment would say is that, instead of us in parliament in London being expected to assert in legislation that Rwanda is safe, when the evidence is including, from the government itself last night, that it isn’t currently safe, it’s a work in progress – instead of having to sign up to that untruth, the government would invite the monitoring committee to certify that Rwanda is safe and when it is safe, the flights can begin.

And should by any chance Rwanda ever cease to be a safe country, well the monitoring committee should say that as well.

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