The House of Lords has voted for the UK to wait before making a new treaty with Rwanda. They want Rwanda to make their asylum procedures better first.
Friends supported a suggestion for the government to not approve the treaty with 214 votes in favor and 171 against.
The treaty was signed in December and is important to Rishi Sunak’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. It is different from the Rwanda Safety Bill.
Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron asked his colleagues to support the bill.
“He said it’s not okay for people to travel from a safe country like France to another safe country like Britain and be allowed to stay. That’s what the Rwanda plan is about. ”
Next week, the members of parliament will start discussing the bill that tries to make it harder for asylum seekers to fight against being sent back to Rwanda.
Even though the vote on the treaty doesn’t force anyone to do something, it shows how many people might disagree with Mr Sunak when the bill is discussed in the Lords.
Only one Conservative, the Earl of Dundee, went against the government in Monday’s vote.
The vote was the first one to happen after the rules changed in 2010. The new rules gave the Lords ways to disagree with treaty agreements.
Once the Rwanda Bill becomes a law, the treaty will be officially approved – even though the government doesn’t need the support of parliament to do so.
The UK-Rwanda Treaty is an important part of the government’s plan to stop migrants from coming to the UK by crossing the Channel in small boats.
The treaty was written because the Supreme Court said that the Rwanda policy is not allowed.
James Cleverly, the person in charge of keeping the country safe, signed a new important agreement in Kigali. He said this agreement will make sure that people who move to Rwanda won’t be sent back to a place where their life or freedom is in danger. This is called non-refoulement.
The agreement creates a new group of judges from different countries who are experts in asylum cases. They will listen to and decide on individual immigration cases.
The government says a group will watch over Rwanda’s asylum system. This group will have more power to make sure the rules are followed.
The government is going to create a way for people who have been moved to a new place and their lawyers to make complaints.
But the House of Lords agreed on Monday that the treaty should be put on hold until the government can show that Rwanda is safe.
Lord Goldsmith, a member of the Labour Party who used to be the Attorney General, suggested the motion. It was on behalf of a group of politicians from different parties called the International Agreements Committee. They found 10 problems in the Rwandan asylum system.
Last week, a group released a report saying that the protections promised by the Rwanda Treaty have not been put in place yet.
Lord Goldsmith said that the government has asked Parliament to decide if Rwanda is safe now.
And yet, according to the home secretary’s own proof, this cannot be true because the measures are not ready and have not been proven to work.
The Liberal Democrat spokesperson Lord Fox said that there are many reasons to wait before making the treaty official until everything needed for it to work properly is ready.