Rwanda Asylum Partnership Debate

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Department: Home Office

Rwanda Asylum Partnership

Lord Purvis of Tweed Excerpts
Wednesday 19th October 2022

(1 year, 8 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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I think the House wants to hear from the Liberal Democrat Benches.

Lord Purvis of Tweed Portrait Lord Purvis of Tweed (LD)
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I am grateful to the Government Chief Whip. I visited the reception centre in Kigali in June, and I asked about the legal basis of that centre, which is on a private contract on an annual basis that will run out in April. I saw no facilities for people who will be vulnerable or at suicide risk, and I have asked repeatedly in this House about the legal underpinning of the MoU. This House’s International Agreements Committee has today reported to say that it is unacceptable for measures such as this to be under an MoU rather than being under a treaty. Will the Government think again and allow Parliament to vote on, scrutinise and ratify this agreement if they believe that it is sound?

Lord Sharpe of Epsom Portrait Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con)
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I thank the noble Lord for his two questions. First, he mentioned the risk of suicide. It is worth pointing out that the health and welfare of those in immigration detention is of the utmost importance. We have a dedicated welfare team on site at each immigration removal centre which is responsible for identifying vulnerable individuals and providing assistance to support an individual’s needs. I remind noble Lords that decisions will be taken on a case-by-case basis and nobody will be relocated if it is unsafe or inappropriate for them. With regard to the terms governing this, which was his second question, he will not be surprised to hear me answer that this is slightly above my pay grade, but I will happily take it back to the department.