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Safety of Rwanda Bill completes passage through Parliament

23 April 2024

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The Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill returned to the House of Lords for final consideration of Commons amendments in ‘ping pong’, on Monday 22 April.

The aim of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill is to confirm Rwanda as a safe third country for the removal of people entering the UK under new immigration laws, and to deter migration by unsafe and illegal routes.

Consideration of amendments

The bill was considered by the House of Lords between 18 January and 12 March 2024 before returning to the House of Commons in a process known as parliamentary 'ping pong'. 

Through the evening of Monday 22 April, members of the Lords met twice to consider two outstanding issues on the bill rejected by the Commons.

A Lords amendment to provide an exemption for refugees who have previously worked with UK military services overseas, such as in Afghanistan, was withdrawn following a government commitment on this point.

Lords members then voted to add an alternative version of the change to the bill on deeming Rwanda a safe country. This change would have required the Home Secretary to consult with an independent monitoring committee and report to Parliament before Rwanda can be declared a safe country. This amendment was rejected by MPs and was later withdrawn in the House of Lords.

Catch up 

Next steps

Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the bill it received Royal Assent on Thursday 25 April. The bill is now an Act of Parliament (law).

Explore further information

Find out more about the bill in the House of Lords Library briefing.

What's happened so far:

Consideration of amendments day three: Wednesday 17 April

On Wednesday 17 April, members of the Lords considered changes (PDF) made to the bill by the Commons for a third time. Lords members voted to reinstate clauses removed by MPs on:

  • Exemptions for UK allies overseas.
  • Ratification of Rwanda as a safe country.

Catch up 

Consideration of amendments day two: Tuesday 16 April

On Tuesday 16 April, members of the Lords considered changes (PDF) made to the bill by MPs in the Commons. Lords members voted to make changes to the bill on:

  • Compliance with international and domestic laws on children, human rights and modern slavery.
  • Ratification of Rwanda as a safe country.
  • Decisions on individual claims regarding personal safety in Rwanda.
  • Exemptions for allies and employees of UK military overseas.

Catch up 

Consideration of amendments day one: Wednesday 20 March

Members of the Lords considered amendments (PDF) made to the bill by MPs in the House of Commons.

There were seven votes on proposed changes. Following this, Lords members returned the bill to the House of Commons for a second time.

Catch up 

Further consideration of Lords amendments took place in the House of Commons on Monday 15 April.

Third reading

A chance for members to ‘tidy up' the bill, making small changes to ensure it is effective, took place during third reading on Tuesday 12 March.

Report stage

Detailed scrutiny continued at report stage on Monday 4 and Wednesday 6 March.

Committee stage 

Line-by-line examination of the bill took place during committee stage on Monday 12, Wednesday 14 and Monday 19 February 2024. 

Second reading

Second reading, a full debate on the key principles of the bill, took place on Monday 29 January.

Image: Aboodi Vesakaran / Pexels

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