UK Parliament Report: Rwanda Bill Incompatible With Human Rights

  • A cross-party parliamentary committee report has claimed that the UK government's Rwanda bill is fundamentally incompatible with the UK's human rights obligations. The legislation is due to be debated in the House of Lords — the upper chamber of Parliament — on Monday. Guardian (LR: 2 CP: 5)
  • In its report, Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights found that the bill "risks untold damage" to the UK's international human rights reputation. The Government’s Rwanda policy is part of the UK government's plan to address the rising number of migrants coming across the English Channel to the UK. The National
  • The Rwanda Asylum Bill was introduced after the Supreme Court ruled that the government's plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was unlawful. Following the ruling, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak enacted "emergency legislation" hypothetically allowing migrants to be transferred there.
  • The committee argued that the courts, rather than Parliament, are best placed to decide whether the Rwanda scheme meets the context that led the UK Supreme Court to conclude that Rwanda isn't safe. The law would also remove asylum seekers' fundamental right of access to a court.
  • According to the UK Home Office, the refugee plan is one of the UK's "innovative solutions" to tackle migration, and the bill provides the best way to start flights to Rwanda. It claimed that Rwanda is safe having already taken in 135K asylum seekers globally. BBC News (LR: 3 CP: 5)
  • In January, Parliament approved the bill despite substantial opposition. Under an initial agreement, Rwanda and the UK agreed in 2022 that people arriving illegally in the UK would be sent to Rwanda for asylum claim processing. No migrants have yet been deported to Rwanda yet. CNN (LR: 2 CP: 5)

Establishment-critical narrative:

  • The report is the latest blow to the Sunak government and its unethical plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. It's shameful for the government of a country like the UK, which prides itself on defending human rights worldwide, to exploit the migration debate for political benefit. For a wealthy country like the UK to outsource its responsibility towards migrants to unsafe third countries is contrary to the principle of refugee protection, and does not solve any of the underlying problems of migration. This cynical and unlawful bill needs to be stopped.

Pro-establishment narrative:

  • The report's conclusions do not do justice to the British government's efforts to solve the migration problem in compliance with its international obligations. For example, following the High Court ruling, the Government negotiated a new treaty with Kigali providing that relocated migrants cannot be sent from Rwanda to a country where they face persecution. The Rwanda scheme reflects the will of the British people and the bill will ensure that the Sunak government can live up to its responsibility to protect the UK's national security.

Nerd narrative:

  • There is a 95% chance that the UK will have a Labour government before June 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
    METACULUS (LR: 3 CP: 3)
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