MPs reject Lords’ amendments to Rwanda bill – as crunch week for legislation begins

MPs have rejected a series of Lords’ amendments to the government’s Rwanda bill – as a week of parliamentary showdown on the legislation begins.

The Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill is currently in the middle of what is known as ping-pong, where the two houses propose, debate and vote on amendments.

So far, the Lords has proposed one set of amendments, all of which the Commons defeated.

And now a second set of Lords’ amendments have been rejected by MPs – this bill will return to the Lords on Tuesday for further scrutiny.

There was little deviation in today’s debate from the previous times the Commons has considered the legislation.

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Opening the debate, Home Office minister Michael Tomlinson said: “Here we are back again debating the same issues and amendments we have already rejected.

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“We are not quite at the point yet of completing each other’s sentences, but we are almost there.”

Crunch week for bill

The government has made time in both the Commons and the Lords this week for more debating and voting to take place, with Downing Street hoping to get royal assent this week.

The Safety of Rwanda Bill aims to allow the government to send asylum seekers who arrived illegally in the UK to Rwanda, addressing concerns raised by the Supreme Court last year.

Part of the legislation declares Rwanda “safe”, and prevents judges from considering how safe Rwanda is, if someone appeals against being deported.

The Lords will consider the legislation on Tuesday afternoon.

The amendments they imposed have sought to address a slew of issues, including allowing appeals on the basis of safety, how underage asylum seekers are looked after, considerations around modern slavery concerns, and whether those who have served for or with the British armed forces should be exempted from deportation.

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