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UK House of Lords Urges Delay in Ratifying Migration Treaty with Rwanda

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The House of Lords, the upper house of the British Parliament, has voted to delay the ratification of a migration treaty with Rwanda.

Symbolically, this is opposing the Conservative government’s plan to return some asylum seekers to Rwanda.

On Monday evening, the Lords voted 214 to 171 to postpone the treaty, a crucial element of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s efforts to overcome the UK Supreme Court’s block on deportations.

This move signals growing opposition to the contentious plan to return asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Although the Lords’ decision has limited practical impact, as they cannot block an international treaty, it reflects strong opposition.

The government has stated it will not delay the treaty, but ignoring the request could pose challenges in a legal context.

John Kerr, a former diplomat in the Lords, stated that the Rwanda plan is “incompatible with our responsibilities” under international human rights law.

The vote emphasizes the opposition’s strength in the House of Lords, where many members seek to amend the bill.

The Rwandan policy is a key component of Sunak’s pledge to “stop the boats” bringing unauthorized migrants to the UK across the Channel from France.

The deal with Rwanda, struck almost two years ago, aimed to send migrants who reach Britain across the Channel to Rwanda permanently.

Despite Britain paying Rwanda over £240 million under the deal, no one has been sent to the East African country.

Human rights groups criticize the plan as inhumane and unworkable.

The UK Supreme Court ruled in November that the policy was unlawful, leading to a new treaty with Rwanda pledging to strengthen migrant protections.

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Sunak’s government argues that the treaty allows the passing of a law declaring Rwanda a safe destination.

If approved by Parliament, this law would enable the government to waive certain provisions of UK human rights law regarding Rwanda-related asylum claims.

The debate in the House of Lords reflects the ongoing controversy surrounding this migration treaty.


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