Quakers join over 260 organisations calling on House of Lords to block Rwanda Bill
Along with 260 charities, faiths and civil society bodies, Quakers in Britain called on the House of Lords this week to block the “deeply harmful" Rwanda Bill.
In a joint statement ahead of the bill's second reading in the Lords on Monday, the organisations said that the bill was an attack on universal human rights and the constitutional role of the judiciary.
Later peers widely condemned the controversial deportation plan as it was debated in the House of Lords, suggesting they could ask for changes which might slow down its implementation.
A serious blow to the UK's commitment to the rule of law- signatories
Conservative former chancellor Ken Clarke said overruling the Supreme Court on Rwanda's safety set a “very dangerous constitutional provision."
The UK's highest court found in November that Rwanda was not a safe country and that refugees deported there faced the risk of being returned to their home country.
The government's Rwanda plans have already been delayed by the House of Lords when they voted last week to delay the treaty until the government could prove Rwanda was safe.
This weekend an Observer investigation found that the UK granted asylum to four Rwandan refugees over 'well-founded' fears of persecution while the government argued that Rwanda was a safe country.
Nevertheless, Rishi Sunak (who became prime minister after being selected by just over half of Tory MPs, following the resignation of Liz Truss) warned peers not to “frustrate the will of the people."
The joint civil society statement, signed by Amnesty International, the United Reform Church and Refugee Action amongst others, warned that the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill threatened the universality of human rights.
It is “likely in breach of international law," the statement said, “striking a serious blow to the UK's commitment to the rule of law."