British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's plan to deport migrants to Rwanda suffered a setback on Monday evening. The upper house of the British Parliament has called on the government to postpone the ratification of the agreement signed with Kigali, where it wants first to ensure that Rwanda is a safe host country for migrants being deported.
The British Lords on Monday evening, January 22, expressed their disapproval of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's controversial plan to deport migrants to Rwanda, opposing the ratification of the agreement signed with Kigali.
A majority of representatives sitting in the upper house of parliament (214 against 171) asked the government to postpone the ratification of the agreement until Rwanda can prove that it is a safe host country for evicted migrants.
In doing so, a majority of Lords followed the recommendation of a cross-party committee, which in a report published last week found the guarantees provided by the treaty to be “incomplete”.
It was on this agreement that the Conservative government's legislation, which forms the basis of the government's policy to combat illegal immigration, was drawn up. The text signed in December with Kigali was actually supposed to respond to the concerns of the British Supreme Court, which ruled the scheme illegal in its previous version for fear of asylum seekers being transferred to other countries. danger.
One of the last government maps
It is one of the Conservative government's last cards to save the iconic plan, which has been repeatedly defeated since it was announced by former prime minister Boris Johnson in 2022. The House of Commons, where elected representatives sit, passed it with a comfortable majority last week after heated scrutiny from the right wing of the Conservative Party, moving to toughen the text and leading to the resignation of many of its executives.
In the process, Rishi Sunak urged the Lords to adopt the plan, heavily criticized by humanitarian associations, as quickly as possible, which he hopes will be implemented before the assembly elections scheduled for the end of 2024.
Unlike the elected members of the House of Commons, the Lords do not have the power to block the ratification of a treaty. But the vote on the motion, to which the government must respond, suggests new difficulties for the controversial bill.
The text, which would define Rwanda as a safe third country and prevent migrants from returning to their home countries, is due to be debated in the Upper House of the British Parliament next week.
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