Watch live as members of the House of Lords debate Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda asylum bill on Monday, 12 February, after MPs and peers warned it is “fundamentally incompatible” with the UK’s human rights obligations and would flout international law.
The government’s Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill “risks untold damage” to the UK’s hard-won reputation as a proponent of human rights internationally, Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights said.
Following a Supreme Court ruling against the plan, the controversial draft legislation and a treaty with Rwanda are intended to prevent further legal challenges to the stalled deportation scheme.
The bill seeks to limit asylum seekers’ ability to appeal against being put on a flight to the east African country.
Under the proposed legislation, judges would be compelled to regard Rwanda as safe and people could therefore be deported there.
However, the crossbench committee of MPs and Lords said they were “not persuaded that Parliament can be confident that Rwanda is now safe. In any event, we consider that the courts are best placed to resolve such contested issues of fact.”