'Time has come!' Sunak handed boost as MPs reject Lords amendments to Rwanda plan

'Time has come!' Sunak handed boost as MPs reject Lords amendments to Rwanda plan

WATCH NOW: Rishi Sunak's update on the Rwanda plan

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 22/04/2024

- 17:34

Updated: 22/04/2024

- 18:50

The Lords wants the Commons to exempt Afghans who worked with the British Army and create tighter checks on whether Rwanda was still a safe country for asylum seekers

Rishi Sunak's Rwanda plan has been handed a major boost as MPs rejected the first amendment tabled by the House of Lords.

MPs voted 306 to 229, a majority of 77, to overturn an amendment which would have required independent monitors to certify the African nation is a safe country.

A second amendment, which would exempt Afghans who assisted British forces, was also rejected.

MPs voted 305 to 234, a majority of 71, to reject the second proposal from peers.

Sunak handed boost as MPs reject Lords amendment to Rwanda planSunak handed boost as MPs reject Lords amendment to Rwanda planPARLIAMENT TV

However, the Prime Minister is not out of the woods yet, with the legislation returning to the House of Lords for continued parliamentary ping-point.

Speaking ahead of tonight's division, Illegal Migration Minister Michael Tomlinson claimed the "time has come" to pass the Prime Minister's flagship policy.

He told MPs: “Criminal gangs are determined who comes to the United Kingdom as vulnerable people are being lured into unseaworthy boats and risking their lives.

"Billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being spent on illegal migration.


Rishi Sunak updated the nation about his illegal immigration plan


“Our resources and services are reaching their limits.

"We must put an end to it. We must pass this legislation and stop the boats.

"I urge this House once again to send an unambiguous message to the other place.

"The time has come for the Labour Lords to respect the views of this House and let this Bill now pass.”

Migrants crossing the ChannelMigrants have continued to cross the ChannelGETTY

Sunak also held a press conference earlier today to confirm the first flight will take off in “10 to 12 weeks”.

The Prime Minister said: “Parliament will sit there tonight and vote no matter how late it goes, no ifs, no buts, these flights are going to Rwanda.

“We are going to deliver this indispensable deterrent so that we finally break the business model of the criminal gangs and save lives.

“Starting from the moment the bill passes, we will begin the process of removing those identified for the first flight. We have prepared for this moment.”

He added: “These flights will go come what may. No foreign court will stop us from getting flights off.”

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