The House of Lords has defied Rishi Sunak to vote against the ratification of the UK’s new treaty with Rwanda – in what could prove a damaging development for the Safety of Rwanda Bill.
The upper house was voting following a report last week that recommended the treaty not be ratified.
It comes after Rishi Sunak challenged peers not to “frustrate the will of the people”.
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Labour’s Lord Peter Goldsmith, who proposed the debate, said the report had been supported unanimously by the cross-party International Agreements Committee – including Boris Johnson’s ally Lord Eddy Lister.
The House of Lords can only advise that the signing of a treaty is delayed – however, if the Commons votes the same way it can delay the signing of the treaty.
The wording of the motion said: “This House resolves, in accordance with section 20 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, that His Majesty’s Government should not ratify the UK-Rwanda Agreement on an Asylum Partnership until the protections it provides have been fully implemented.”
It is upon this treaty – which contains the agreements that make Rwanda “safe” – that the Safety of Rwanda Bill was introduced.
The bill will be debated in the Lords from next week.
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