Sunak will set out the details of the Rwanda plan as parliamentary confrontation looms

Rishi Sunak will set out how he plans to get the first flights of asylum seekers to Rwanda off the ground, as he puts further pressure on the Lords to end opposition to the plan.

The Prime Minister will use a press conference to outline a “robust” operational plan ahead of the final showdown on Rwanda’s security (asylum and immigration) bill in parliament.

Senior Minister Andrew Mitchell suggested colleagues’ objections “bordered on racism” and claimed the Rwandan capital Kigali was safer than London.

Weeks of parliamentary back and forth will come to a head on Monday evening.

The government has promised to keep Parliament sitting late into the night if necessary to pass the bill, which it says is essential to the Prime Minister’s pledge to “stop the boats”.

Rwanda bill
Parliamentary ‘ping-pong’ over Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda plan will continue (John Walton/PA)

Peers have repeatedly blocked the legislation with a series of amendments, stretching the debate on the “emergency legislation” over more than four months and delaying flights taking asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Downing Street is hostile to the idea of ​​making concessions to secure passage of the bill, leading to a deadlock with the Lords.

The bill aims to overcome Supreme Court objections by forcing judges to treat Rwanda as a safe country for asylum seekers and allowing ministers to ignore emergency orders from the European Court of Human Rights.

Deputy Foreign Secretary Mr Mitchell claimed some objections to the Bill were “patronising”.

Speaking to a House of Lords amendment to the Rwanda Bill, which proposes independent oversight of the country’s security, separate from its own judiciary, Mr Mitchell told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “ Some of the discussions that have taken place in the Lords about the judicial arrangements The legal arrangements within Rwanda have been patronizing and border on racism in my opinion. We therefore believe that the amendment is not necessary and that the necessary structures are in place to ensure that the system works well and fairly. ”

He added that “if you look at the statistics, Kigali is demonstrably safer than London, so I have no doubts at all about Rwanda’s safety and the effectiveness of the plan.”

Mitchell said Rwanda’s Paul Kagame led a “remarkable regime.”

At the press conference on Monday morning, Mitchell said the Prime Minister would outline how asylum seekers would be sent to Rwanda.

The government has faced weeks of questions over how it will find a charter airline willing to take part in the scheme, with speculation that RAF flights may have to be used.

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Deputy Foreign Secretary Andrew Mitchell suggested some objections to Rwanda’s ‘border against racism’ bill (James Manning/PA)

Ministers are also prepared for legal challenges, although the bill is intended to drastically limit the eligibility criteria to appeal against shipments to Rwanda.

Mr Mitchell told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “The Prime Minister will hold a press conference to set out the operational plan, but I can assure you that the operational plans are robust, sensible and should work.”

But former Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the legislation is “fatally flawed” and contains “too many loopholes”, arguing that leaving the European Convention on Human Rights was the only way to end the legal hurdles to overcome.

Ms Braverman said the current draft law is vulnerable to “last-minute orders” from the European Court of Human Rights and susceptible to “illegal claims clogging the courts”. She told Today: “The simple fact is that this is our third Bill of Parliament that the Government has introduced in four years to stop the boats.

“None of them have worked – none of them have worked because they are all still susceptible to the international human rights framework set out in the European Convention on Human Rights, assessed and adjudicated by the European Court of Human Rights People in Strasbourg – that is the problem, and that is why I have been calling for several years to leave the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Last week, colleagues amended the bill again to include an exemption for Afghan nationals assisting British troops and a provision that meant Rwanda could not be treated as safe unless deemed so by an independent monitoring body.

On Monday, MPs are expected to vote to overturn these changes before sending the bill back to the House of Lords, where some peers will try to push their amendments again.

If so, the bill will return to the House of Commons late on Monday for another vote and then return to the Lords again in a process known as ‘ping pong’ that will continue well past the House of Commons’ usual 10.30pm end date could last.

However, if peers pass the exact same amendment twice, the House of Commons faces the choice of accepting the amendment or losing the bill through a rarely used process known as ‘double pushing’.

Crossbench peer and former independent assessor of terrorism legislation Lord Anderson has raised this possibility, describing the legislation as a “post-truth Bill” asking Parliament to declare Rwanda safe, when that, he argued, would not is the case.