Rwanda will be allowed to ‘cherry pick’ which migrants fly from the UK in a fresh blow to beleagued Rishi Sunak. A government spokesperson for the central African nation revealed depending on the information it received from Britain, any asylum seeker could be stopped from entering the country.
A new court-busting deal has been signed between the UK and Rwanda which Rishi Sunak has hailed as being able to block any legal bids to stop migrant flights taking off. Previously the Supreme Court ruled that the earlier Rwanda proposal was unlawful as was written.
However, now it has emerged a possible new front has opened up because the Rwandan government itself could stop a migrant being processed even if the lawyers here failed to block them leaving Britain.
The Daily Mail reports a government source told the paper: “We will decide on whether to approve a transfer request for an individual based on information sent from the UK. This information includes, among other things, any criminal record or security issues known to the UK.”
But in a ray of hope for Rishi Sunak, Rwandan government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo said a criminal record does not “automatically” mean a migrant will be rejected.
The Prime Minister on Tuesday won a crunch vote on the new Safety of Rwanda Bill after spending the day in talks with potential rebels to avoid a defeat on his flagship “stop the boats” pledge.
The efforts to bring people on side worked, with MPs approving the Bill at second reading by 313 votes to 269, giving the UK Government a winning majority of 44.
But some Tory MPs have said they reserved the right to vote against the draft law when it returns to the Commons next year if its contents are not strengthened to ensure asylum seekers can be deported to Rwanda before the next election.
Former home secretary Suella Braverman and former immigration minister Robert Jenrick, who resigned last week following publication of the Bill, were among the high profile Tories to abstain on Tuesday, despite being issued a three-line whip to vote in support of the Government.
Dozens abstained but no Tory MP voted against the Bill, with former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith and former business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg among those to back it.
A piece of government legislation has not failed to pass a second reading, the first Commons hurdle, since 1986. Mr Sunak said the victory in the Commons for the Bill would pave the way for him to deliver his pledge of stopping boats of migrants from crossing the Channel.
After the result, the Prime Minister tweeted: “The British people should decide who gets to come to this country – not criminal gangs or foreign courts. That’s what this Bill delivers. We will now work to make it law so that we can get flights going to Rwanda and stop the boats.”