Blow for Rishi Sunak as Rwanda plan suffers first defeat in House of Lords

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.”

More on Rwanda

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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Sunak warns Lords over Rwanda

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