Debates between Lord Green of Deddington and Lord Cromwell during the 2019-2024 Parliament

Wed 20th Mar 2024

Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill

Debate between Lord Green of Deddington and Lord Cromwell
Lord Cromwell Portrait Lord Cromwell (CB)
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My Lords, Rwanda is a safe country, Rwanda will always be a safe country. How can I say that? Because shortly we will have an Act that makes it legal fact. But, no matter how often I repeat it to myself, I just cannot make it stick. That is why I think these two amendments in lieu from the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, are so important. I refer to Amendments 3B and 3C, which will undoubtedly improve this Bill substantially.

I will mention one other factor. A few kilometres away, over the border in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is a war going on. More than 100 armed groups are involved in this conflict, and the M23 is in an escalating battle for Goma with the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s troops. This is just a few miles across the border. The situation was described by UNHCR as “catastrophic”. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. This is just across the border from Rwanda. I am not going to get into arguments about whether Rwanda at this precise moment is safe, but surely we need to look at what is happening just over the border and put in the amendments the noble and learned Lord has suggested so that we can deal with the situation should it change.

Lord Green of Deddington Portrait Lord Green of Deddington (CB)
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My Lords, I wonder whether we are making rather heavy weather of this. Surely, the objective is that, if the situation changes in Rwanda, we stop sending people there. Do we not have a thing called an embassy? Could it not tell us? Is it not going to be in touch with the people on the ground and the administrators of the scheme? It can advise the Government, and if the Government say it is going badly, out we go—pack it up. It is quite simple.