Reprieve for Sunak as UK finally passes bill to send asylum seekers to Rwanda #rwanda #RwOT


The bill, part of the government's strategy to deter illegal migrants from arriving in the UK via small boats across the English Channel, passed after securing approval from the Upper House, which had proposed several amendments.

The Lords had refused to pass the bill without further amendments, including the inclusion of a provision exempting agents, allies, and employees of the UK overseas, including Afghans who fought alongside the British Armed Forces, from being removed to Rwanda.

The Lords also demanded tighter checks on the safety of Rwanda for asylum seekers to ensure the scheme had "due regard" for domestic and international law.

But after weeks of parliamentary ping-pong, the Lords gave way and let the bill pass without any formal changes. The passing of the bill paves the way for Royal Assent from King Charles later this week, after which it will become law.

The legislation sailed through the Upper House moments after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the government would force Parliament to sit as late into Monday night as necessary to get the bill passed.

'Enough is enough. No more prevarication. No more delay. Parliament will sit tonight and vote no matter how late it goes. No ifs, no buts. These flights are going to Rwanda,' Sunak said during a media briefing on Monday.

He affirmed that the first flight will take off to Rwanda in July despite strong opposition from the Labour party, which resulted in the missing of March to June deadline initially set by the authorities.

The scheme was first announced in April 2022 by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government following a deal with Rwandan authorities.

The bill was introduced to Parliament after the UK Supreme Court ruled that the government's scheme was unlawful. The judges argued that genuine refugees being removed to Rwanda faced the risk of being returned to their home countries, where they could face harm.

The UK plans to offer failed asylum seekers up to £3,000 (Rwf4,866,727) to move to Rwanda under the new voluntary scheme.

The bill passed after securing approval from the Upper House, which had proposed several amendments

Wycliffe Nyamasege

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