Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda bill passes after late-night showdown

Rishi SunakThe Rwanda bill will finally become law after a showdown in parliament ended in the middle of the night.

Plans to send some asylum seekers to Africa have faced intense criticism, but the bill was passed on Monday after Lords dropped their opposition.

Sunak said in a statement that “there is nothing to prevent” future flight operations.

But this plan still has potential Suspended by court challenge.

Before passing the bill, the prime minister said flights to Rwanda would take off within 10 to 12 weeks, falling short of his original spring target.

He said in a statement on Tuesday that passing the Rwanda bill was “not just a step forward, but a fundamental shift in the global immigration equation.”

“We introduced the Rwanda Bill to stop vulnerable migrants from crossing dangerous borders and break the business models of criminal organizations that exploit them,” he said.

“The passage of this law allows us to do that and makes it clear that if you come here illegally, you cannot stay.

“I’m clear that our focus now is to get the planes off the ground and nothing will stop us from achieving that and saving lives.”

But Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, called the Rwanda plan a “prohibitively expensive gimmick”.

Charities have also condemned the plan, with major human rights groups calling it a “violation of international law”.

The government’s plan has been stalled since November. UK Supreme Court unanimously rules Rwanda plan illegal.

The prime minister said on Monday that planes were booked to take off as soon as the bill was passed, and 500 staff were ready to escort the migrants “all the way to Rwanda.”

“Plans are in place, and no matter what happens, these flights will happen,” he said, adding, “We hope to build a drumbeat of multiple flights per month… Because that’s how you build systemic deterrence, and that’s how you do it,” he added. Please stop the boat. ”

There was intense parliamentary back-and-forth between the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and the bill was sent back to MPs five times before becoming law.

After many setbacks, the passage of this bill was a political victory for the Prime Minister.

But his pledge to stop small boats crossing the Channel depends on whether this becomes the deterrent he promised. With a general election approaching, the Prime Minister does not have much time to prove that his plan will work.

By Monday, peers had discussed two amendments to the bill, the first to create an independent monitoring commission to consider whether Rwanda is safe, and the second to establish an independent monitoring committee to consider whether Rwanda is safe, and the second is to support British troops in Afghanistan. It concerned the exemption of persons.

Commenting on the bill, Lord Carlyle said: “This is ill-judged, poorly drafted, inappropriate and illegal under current UK and international law and the House of Lords wishes to uphold legal standards in relation to this bill. is absolutely correct.” In any case, there are better ways to deal with this problem. ”

“Very important concession”

Lord Brown of Reddington, who brought forward an amendment to exempt Afghanistan veterans who supported British forces from deportation, said the government had made concessions on this issue.

The government promised that Afghan veterans with “credible links” to Afghan special forces would have their claims reassessed by an independent body, and said those whose claims were confirmed would not be deported.

Lord Browne withdrew the amendment, saying this was a “hugely important” concession.

Back in the House of Commons, Shadow Immigration Secretary Stephen Kinnock praised the “persistence” of his colleagues in the House of Lords in holding out what he called “significant concessions”.

However, the Government remained steadfast in its rejection of the Oversight Committee’s final amendments (proposed by peer Lord Anderson).

He said the purpose of the exchange between the two houses was to persuade the government to agree to a compromise, but the government “clearly refused to do so.”

“The time has come to recognize the supremacy of the elected House of Representatives and step back from the fray,” he added.

Epsom’s Home Secretary Sharp defended the bill, saying it complied with international law and that “protecting the integrity of our borders is deeply moral and patriotic.”

The bill is expected to receive Royal Assent from King Charles in the coming days and become formal law.

Opposition parties are not alone in opposing the Rwandan government’s plan, with human rights groups saying it poses a “serious threat to the rule of law” by undermining protections for people from state abuses of power. There is.

In a joint statement with Amnesty International and Liberty, the charity Freedom from Torture said: “We all have the right to live safe lives and have the opportunity to seek protection when we need it most. .

“This shameful bill undermines the Constitution and international law and puts torture survivors and other refugees at risk for a dangerous future in Rwanda.”


Details of the UK’s Rwanda Asylum Bill


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