A former Powys MP has called the Government's current Rwanda Bill is “ill-judged, badly drafted, inappropriate” and “illegal in current UK and international law”.

Leading lawyer and independent crossbencher Lord Carlile of Berriew was speaking  ahead of a key vote on the legislation in Parliament on Monday.

The former Montgomeryshire MP told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “This is, in my view, the most inexplicable and insensitive day I’ve experienced in nearly 40 years in one or other House of Parliament.”

“What Rishi Sunak is asking Parliament to do is say that an untruth is a truth,” he added.

“The Supreme Court held, for the time being at least, that Rwanda is not a safe country and it is still the case that Rwanda has not implemented all the promises it made in the treaty it reached with the United Kingdom.”


Lord Carlile added: “This is something which is ill-judged, badly drafted, inappropriate, illegal in current UK and international law and the House of Lords is absolutely right to say, ‘We want to maintain our legal standards in this country and there are better ways of dealing with this problem anyway’.”

The first flight carrying asylum seekers to Rwanda will leave in 10-12 weeks, Rishi Sunak said in a press conference as he promised that “no ifs, no buts” the scheme would be put into operation.

The Prime Minister said “enough is enough” as he said MPs and peers would sit through the night if necessary to get the Safety of Rwanda Bill through Parliament.

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Mr Sunak had originally promised that flights would go to Rwanda in spring, but his new timetable suggested the first plane would not leave until July.

At a Downing Street press conference he blamed Labour opposition to the scheme for the delays, but vowed: “We will start the flights and we will stop the boats.”

The Prime Minister said an airfield was on standby and charter flights had been booked to take asylum seekers on the one-way trip to Rwanda.

Mr Sunak said: “Enough is enough. No more prevarication, no more delay. Parliament will sit there tonight and vote no matter how late it goes. No ifs, no buts. These flights are going to Rwanda.”