Working to make government more effective

Insight paper

What is in the prime minister’s ‘emergency’ asylum legislation?: Examining the Safety of Rwanda Bill and Rwanda Treaty

The implications for constitutional and international law of the prime minister’s latest Rwanda gamble.

Tom Hickman KC
Rishi Sunak giving a press conference at Downing Street on his plans to proceed with the Rwanda scheme.

Just three weeks after the Supreme Court handed down its judgment finding that it is not safe for the UK to send asylum seekers to Rwanda,* the government has introduced the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill to parliament. The bill states that it “gives effect to the judgement of Parliament that the Republic of Rwanda is a safe country.” (clause 1(1)(b)) 

Parliament is therefore being asked to substitute its judgment for that of the Supreme Court on whether Rwanda is safe for UK asylum seekers. At the same time as introducing the bill, the government has laid a treaty with the Rwandan government before parliament. This short paper considers the implications for constitutional and international law of the prime minister’s latest Rwanda gamble.

What is in the government's new Rwanda asylum plan?

How Rishi Sunak's Rwanda treaty and "emergency" immigration bill will work.

Read our explainer
Prime minister Rishi Sunak at a Downing Street press conference to update on how he will proceed with his Rwanda plan.

Related content

19 JAN 2024 Podcast

Rishi v the Rebels

Peter Ricketts, the UK’s first national security adviser, joins the podcast team to discuss Sunak’s battles with his MPs.

17 NOV 2023 Podcast

Sunak's flights of fantasy?

Francis Elliott, editor of the House Magazine, joins the podcast to run the rule over the reshuffle and weigh up Sunak's Rwanda scheme.