The parliamentary dispute over a controversial law on the British asylum pact with Rwanda continues. The House of Commons in London rejected two amendments from the House of Lords with a government majority. The draft will then go back to the second chamber of parliament, where it will be discussed again in the evening.

Only when both chambers approve the law can it come into force. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had announced that MPs would keep voting until they approved the draft. Commentators expect that the so-called ping-pong between the chambers could last into the night.

The asylum pact with Rwanda stipulates that migrants who entered the country irregularly should no longer be given the opportunity to apply for asylum in Great Britain. Instead, regardless of their origin, they should be brought to Rwanda and apply for asylum there. There are no plans to return to Great Britain. The aim of the regulation is to prevent people from making dangerous journeys across the English Channel in small boats.

Upper House has concerns

However, the highest court in Great Britain declared the asylum pact to be unlawful and justified it with doubts about the rule of law in Rwanda. Critics accuse the East African country of human rights violations. The new law is now intended to overturn the ruling by declaring Rwanda a safe third country with the stroke of a pen and preventing appeals against deportations in British courts.

The upper house, which has almost 800 unelected members, had expressed several concerns about the plan. For example, the question is whether foreign citizens who helped the British armed forces or the secret service in Afghanistan, for example, will be exempt from deportations. The government emphasizes that there are already safe asylum routes to Great Britain for these people, so no change in the law is necessary.