My Lords, there are two ways in which to break a treaty, and I think that, looking back on it, I rather preferred the Brandon Lewis way—the straightforward, “Yes, we’re breaking a treaty, in a specific and limited way.” This rather weaselly approach, whereby the Government say, “Oh well, we’re perfectly entitled to interpret the treaty as we choose, and no, as a matter of fact we’re not in breach of it”, seems to me unconvincing and undesirable, and rather bad for our international reputation and for refugees.
I have not heard an answer to the key point, which is that, if I were coming from Ukraine, I could not be a group 1 refugee because I cannot come directly. The clause says that the requirement of being a group 1 refugee is that you have come to the United Kingdom directly from the country or territory where your life or freedom were threatened. So nobody from Ukraine can be entitled to full refugee convention rights in this country, if this becomes the law. I do not think that is right, so I think I have to test the opinion of the House.
Ayes 204, Noes 126.