UK Government Postpones Vote on Migrant Expulsion Law to Rwanda

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UK government announced the postponement of the vote on the law regarding the expulsion of migrants to Rwanda. Earlier in the week, the Upper House of Parliament had approved seven amendments to this contentious bill.

The British government has delayed its “Rwanda” law, as confirmed by the Minister responsible for Parliamentary Relations on March 21, 2024. This legislation aims to recognize Rwanda as a safe country and facilitate the relocation of its asylum application system. It’s a project upon which the Conservative government is staking its credibility, but one that is currently facing legal obstacles.

On Tuesday evening, the Upper House of the British Parliament approved seven amendments to the Rwanda bill. One of these amendments requires the UK to “respect international conventions,” while another allows individuals to appeal their deportation to Kigali. Additionally, a mechanism for verifying living conditions in Rwanda was introduced. These measures are perceived by the government as weakening the text.

Electoral setback for the Conservative Party

This is the second time the Lords have significantly amended the bill. The government had hoped that parliamentary back-and-forth would overcome their desire for modification and even anticipated obtaining royal assent this week. It aimed to fulfill its promise of sending the first planes of asylum seekers to Rwanda by the end of spring. The Conservative Party counted on this move to gain popularity in the polls.

However, with this setback, MPs will not be able to reconsider the text until April 15, after the spring break. Even if both Houses then agree on a common version, implementing the relocation of the asylum system to Rwanda before the early May local elections becomes impossible.


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