Amendment 22

Part of Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - Report (1st Day) – in the House of Lords am 8:45 pm ar 4 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Stirrup Lord Stirrup Crossbench 8:45, 4 Mawrth 2024

My Lords, having tried earlier in the day during Questions to be supportive of the Minister, let me now seek to redress the balance. I have appended my name to Amendment 44 for two reasons: first, because I regard it as essential that we meet the obligations we have undoubtedly accrued to those who have supported the UK’s overseas endeavours in the past; but, secondly and equally, because we need to protect our ability to garner such support in future—support that will be crucial in many instances to the success and safety of our own Armed Forces. It is for this reason that faster and better handling of currently outstanding issues, such as those pertaining to the Afghans, will not resolve the issue.

The Bill has passed the other place and will undoubtedly become law. This amendment does not in any substantive way affect the powers and arrangements set out in the Bill. It carves out a limited exemption. The Government will undoubtedly argue that the more exemptions, the weaker the Bill. That may be, but it seems to me that is a pretty important exemption. That really is the question before your Lordships: would the harm done to the UK by not agreeing this amendment outweigh the impact that agreeing it would have on the Government’s objective of ceasing illegal immigration? The answer, it seems to me, is an overwhelming yes, and therefore I believe we should agree the amendment. The Minister will undoubtedly disagree. My proposition to your Lordships is therefore this: let us pass the amendment and send the issue back to the other place and let us then see what importance it attaches to the safety of those who have hazarded their security and their very lives in support of global Britain’s overseas endeavours.