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UK: Amidst Parliamentary Defeat, PM Rishi Sunak’s Refugee Bill Delayed By A Month

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The upper house of parliament rebuffed the government and reinstituted requests for more protections, perhaps delaying the passage of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s controversial bill to deport refugees to Rwanda until at least next month.

Legal challenges have so far stopped any of the thousands of asylum seekers who arrive in Britain each year from being moved to Rwanda. The government intends to send these people to live in Rwanda.

Sunak hopes the deportation flights will turn around the fortunes of his Conservative Party, which is significantly losing in the polls with the next election approaching. The legislation is essential to his commitment to restricting the entrance of asylum seekers.

On Wednesday, the unelected members of the House of Lords—who are primarily composed of former government officials and politicians—voted once more to change the law in order to include additional protections for asylum seekers’ rights.

The Lords approved modifications mandating that ministers give “due regard to domestic and international law” and stating that Rwanda could only be deemed safe once a treaty with Britain was put into effect.

The government’s setbacks mean that the bill will return to the House of Commons for a game of “parliamentary ping-pong,” in which the two houses attempt to work out a compromise.

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