Alison Thewliss, the SNP’s Home Affairs Spokesperson, has condemned the UK Government as the Rwanda Bill reaches the final stages.

Thewliss spoke on the Rwanda Bill in the House of Commons today after a series of defeats for the UK Government forced a parliamentary showdown.

The Lords voted by 258 votes to 233 that the safety of Rwanda (asylum and immigration) bill has “due regard” for international and key domestic laws, including human rights and modern slavery legislation.

Later, peers backed by 266 votes to 227 a requirement that Rwanda cannot be treated as a safe country until an independent monitoring body has verified that protections contained in the Rwanda treaty are fully implemented and remain in place.

A short time later, in a third Government defeat, the Lords again insisted by 253 votes to 236 on an amendment to restore the jurisdiction of domestic courts in relation to the safety of Rwanda and to enable them to intervene.

Peers also voted by 275 to 218 to press a demand for those who have worked with the UK military or government overseas, such as Afghan interpreters, to be exempted from removal.

Despite repeated defeats in the Lords, the UK Government’s large majority means the amendments made by peers are likely to be overturned.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“The Rwanda Bill is a clear example of human trafficking. This UK Tory Government are doing all they can to try and make this plan seem like it is not, but we all know the truth.

“As I said in the chamber today, the Rwanda Bill is a turd that can’t be polished. It is a despicable and wicked Bill being introduced as a way for the UK Government to hide from the fact they are incredibly out of their depth. It sickens me to the core that the Tories feel this is how we should treat human beings.

“Instead of prioritising how quickly they can ship some of the most vulnerable people in the world off to Rwanda, the Tory Government should focus on creating safe and legal routes for people to seek safety here and contribute to our society, and look to support households across the UK with energy and mortgage bills.

“With Labour and the Tories intent on punishing those seeking safety in the UK instead of helping them, it’s clear that their priorities and values do not align with Scotland’s. 

“That is why it is so important that Scotland continues to have a strong team of SNP MPs at Westminster – to make Scotland’s voice and values heard. That can only happen by voting SNP at the next general election.”

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