Motion A

Part of Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - Commons Reason – in the House of Lords at 12:00 am on 22 April 2024.

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Photo of Lord True Lord True Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal 12:00, 22 April 2024

My Lords, if I might intervene briefly and ask my noble friend for indulgence, I should say that the noble Lord opposite made important remarks. This House has a major and abiding role in asking the elected House to think again. But as he said, we are now four times into this process. This House is at its best, as he again implied, when we have dialogue, understanding and tolerance across the Chamber. We have heard the words “patriotism” and “morality” used—not by the noble Lord opposite. In my experience as Leader of this House, this is a patriotic House, whatever the party and whatever the person. This is a House where people of different political views, with a high political morality of public service, have different ways of seeking to achieve the same end. The party opposite wishes to repeal this Bill; I hope it will, shortly, be passed.

I have said this before on other occasions, and I am sorry; I crave the indulgence of the House at rising at this, but it is an important point. It is important that we have a discussion about what are the limits and what is the place of your Lordships’ House in scrutinising and indeed challenging legislation put forward by any elected Government. However, he embers of the passage of this important Bill, which I understand was controversial in this House, are not the occasion. I do not think this is the place, but this is a matter that we might debate in an open forum and privately, and I hope that we can do that.

I appreciate the gentle way—in the sense of gentlemanly, if that word is allowed to be used in this way—in which the noble Lord has put the point. I appreciate his tribute to my noble friends and others on the Front Bench, and indeed to all the people in this House. There have been spirited and good debates, in the best traditions of the House, but in the weeks and months ahead we must reflect on whether sending something back to the elected House four or five times is the best way to enable the King’s Government to be carried on.