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House of Lords votes to delay Sunak’s Rwanda deportation plans

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The House of Lords has voted for a motion to delay ratifying the Government’s new treaty with Rwanda.

While the motion is not binding on the Government, support for it provides an indication of the uphill battle the Government faces over the next two months to get Rishi Sunak’s deportation plan through the Lords.

Some 214 Lords voted content in support of the motion, with a further 171 opposed.

The vote is unprecedented and seeks to delay the treaty with Kigali that paves the way for Mr Sunak’s scheme.

Lord Sharpe of Estom, a Home Office minister, said it was “critical to the Government’s plan to establish an effective deterrent to dangerous crossings, and to stop the boats”, before being laughed at by other peers as he began to recap “what this policy sets out to achieve”.

Criticism was led by Lord Goldsmith, a Labour peer and former attorney general who tabled the motion, but also extended to a bishop and even some Tory figures cast doubt on whether the policy would work in practice.

Britain’s drawn out departure from the European Union saw parliamentary ‘ping pong’ between the Commons and the Lords.

Tonight’s result, which followed peers laughing at a Home Office minister who said he looked forward to their support, shows the scale of the challenge facing the Government in getting the legislation through the upper chamber.

Sunak and his ministers have insisted the Rwanda treaty and subsequent legislation are vital in order to stop the boats. In the wake of the outcome this evening, it is no wonder the Prime Minister has already called on the Lords to “do the right thing” by the public on migration – as it looks like they may need some convincing.