UK PM Sunak wants to respect Rwanda’s view on asylum partnership – spokesman

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will engage with lawmakers over a plan to send migrants to Rwanda, ahead of a vote on the flagship policy later on Tuesday, but the government needs to respect Rwanda’s views on the partnership, his spokesman said.

The spokesman said that the vote would go ahead on Tuesday, amid unrest among some Conservative lawmakers who want Sunak to pursue a tougher approach that further restricts the ability of asylum seekers to appeal their deportation.

“We’re willing to listen to constructive comments from colleagues … we believe this is a tough piece of legislation which will achieve its objectives and the public’s objectives of stopping the boats,” the spokesman said.

Rwanda’s government has said that Britain must behave lawfully for it to continue with the partnership.

Sunak’s spokesman said that Rwanda had set out the “parameters” for the partnership, adding “it’s important we respect that.”

“Not only is it the only approach, it is the right approach,” the spokesman said, adding that an “extremely high bar which would lead to vanishingly small numbers of challenges would not prevent flights getting off the ground.”

(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill and Alistair Smout, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)