Amendment 40

Part of Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - Report (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords am 6:30 pm ar 6 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Coaker Lord Coaker Shadow Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Opposition Whip (Lords) 6:30, 6 Mawrth 2024

I feel like just moving Amendments 40 and 41 and sitting down. I probably should.

These amendments ask the Government to provide some facts with respect to the Bill. We believe that the Bill—as well as the various debates we have had about the rule of law, compliance with international law and so on—is unworkable. We do not think it will work. We think that, in the end, the real number the Government want is one; one plane. The symbolism of one plane taking off is what they want.

Let us just try some facts—how many thousands of people are waiting, under the auspices of the Illegal Migration Act, to be deported somewhere? How many people are the Government going to send to Rwanda? If it is over 300 by the way, it costs an extra £120 million. Where are all these people? We read that the Government have lost a lot of them; they do not know where they are. Can the Government explain why they overspent by £4.5 billion and why the Home Secretary had to ask for an emergency £2.6 billion? Can the Government explain why they believe there is a deterrent, when the Permanent Secretary had to receive a ministerial direction to carry on because he did not believe there was any evidence that there was a deterrent? Yet the Government continued to say that. Instead of a Safety of Rwanda Bill overturning a finding of fact by the Supreme Court, perhaps we could have a government amendment which says, “You have to believe that it is a deterrent”.

Number after number is not provided by the Government. Amendment 40 would require a report on how the Rwanda treaty will operate, and Amendment 41 makes a series of asks of the Government. I will press Amendment 41 to a Division, because I want to know how many asylum seekers there are with respect to the Illegal Migration Act? Where are they? How many are the Government sending to Rwanda? What is the timeline for that? Where is their evidence about deterrence? Why should we believe, without any figures, the Government simply asserting that this will act as a deterrent, and that it will work?

I go back to the point I made at the beginning, which was the brunt of all my remarks. Whatever amendments are passed, be it Amendment 41 or some of those which came earlier or will come later—for example, Amendments 42 and 44—they deserve to be properly considered by the Government, and this place given its due respect.