Sunak to speak as Rwanda bill heads to Parliament for showdown

It is more than four months since the government’s Rwanda Bill was introduced in the House of Commons. It’s more than two years since the policy to send some asylum seekers in the UK to Rwanda.

But today might be the day the legislation is finally passed.

Rishi Sunak certainly hopes so. “We will sit there and vote until it’s done,” he said on Friday.

So the bill will bounce – or ping and pong – between the House of Commons and House of Lords until it gets through.

Labour sources in the House of Lords tell me they are not prepared to back down unless the government offers some form of concession on their call for anyone who had worked with UK forces overseas – particularly Afghans who helped British troops – to be exempt from being sent to Rwanda.

But the government argues it is not necessary because there are already safe routes for Afghans to come to the UK so they don’t need to cross the Channel. They are in no mood to compromise on that, or the other Lords’ amendment expected to allow an independent monitoring committee to regularly assess whether Rwanda is safe.

Labour concedes that eventually, the amendments will fall. But it may take several attempts. If it does go back and forth between the houses several times, it could be a late night for everyone here in Westminster.

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