UK Government's Rwanda Deportation Plan Faces Fresh Setback in House of Lords

UK's controversial Rwanda asylum plan faces setbacks as Lords pass amendments, delaying implementation and raising questions about its feasibility and legality.

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UK Government's Rwanda Deportation Plan Faces Fresh Setback in House of Lords

UK Government's Rwanda Deportation Plan Faces Fresh Setback in House of Lords

The UK government's controversial plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda has encountered another hurdle as the House of Lords passed amendments to the Safety of Rwanda Asylum and Immigration Bill. The unelected upper chamber insisted on changes that would restore the jurisdiction of domestic courts, require an independent monitoring body to verify Rwanda's safety, and exempt certain individuals like Afghan interpreters from removal.

The amendments, which passed by a reduced margin compared to previous votes, will force the bill to go through another round of 'ping-pong' between the two Houses of Parliament. This prolongs the legislative process and delays the implementation of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's key pledge to 'stop the boats' crossing the English Channel.

The Rwanda deportation plan, formulated two years ago, aims to deter dangerous Channel crossings in small boats and disrupt the business model of people smugglers. However, it has faced criticism from senior figures in Sunak's own Conservative Party and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who argue it is immoral, unworkable, and likely to breach international law.

Why this matters: The ongoing parliamentary wrangling over the Rwanda scheme highlights the divisive nature of the policy and the challenges the government faces in getting it passed. The delays and setbacks raise questions about the feasibility and legality of the bill, which has significant implications for asylum seekers, border security, and the UK's international reputation.

The government remains focused on passing the bill to enable flights to Rwanda, with a Downing Street source stating they are committed to "getting this legislation passed as soon as possible to break the business model of criminal gangs." However, the opposition has criticized the government for wasting time and taxpayer money on the "Rwanda farce" while failing to address other border security issues. The showdown between the two Houses of Parliament is set to continue on Wednesday as MPs consider the changes made by the Lords.

Key Takeaways

  • UK's Rwanda asylum plan faces setbacks as Lords pass amendments.
  • Amendments aim to restore domestic court jurisdiction, monitor Rwanda's safety.
  • Plan faces criticism from Conservatives, Archbishop of Canterbury as immoral.
  • Delays raise questions about feasibility and legality of the bill.
  • Government committed to passing bill to break smugglers' business model.