The parliamentary “ping-pong” over the Government’s Rwanda scheme will continue on Tuesday as peers are set to once again debate legislation declaring the east African nation safe for refugees.

The Government successfully overturned six House of Lords amendments on Monday as MPs voted to return the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill to its original form two years after the UK first announced its deal with Rwanda.

The legislation seeks to compel judges to regard Rwanda as safe in a bid to clear the way to send asylum seekers who cross the Channel in small boats on a one-way flight to the country.

The Bill will now return to the House of Lords, where peers could further prolong the parliamentary wrangling by making yet more changes.

It is not yet clear if the Lords will make another attempt to amend the Bill, which it has already done twice now, or if peers will concede defeat and allow the legislation through.

If peers vote to approve another series of amendments, the Bill will return to the Commons on Wednesday for more votes before once again being passed back to the Lords.

The legislation will only receive royal assent and become law once both Houses have agreed on its final wording in a process known as parliamentary ping-pong.

Among the amendments overturned by MPs on Monday were proposals to ensure the Bill has “due regard” for domestic and international law and that Rwanda is only regarded as safe for as long as the provisions of the UK’s treaty with that country are in place.

During Monday’s debate, veteran Conservative backbencher Sir Bill Cash urged peers to “calm down” and described their amendments as “ridiculous”.

Home Office minister Michael Tomlinson stressed that the “elected” Commons had voted in favour of an unamended Bill and called on MPs to “stand with the Government in upholding the will of the House of Commons”.

Cumulative arrivals of people crossing the English Channel in small boats
(PA Graphics)

But Labour’s shadow immigration minister Stephen Kinnock said the Rwanda scheme was “doomed to fail” and described the policy as “fundamentally unworkable, unaffordable and unlawful”.

The ongoing standoff between the two Houses of Parliament continues to delay flights deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda, seen by the Government as a vital deterrent to the small boats crossing the Channel.

The Government has previously said it wanted to get flights off the ground in the spring, but on Monday the Prime Minister’s official spokesman would only say it was committed to implementing the policy “as soon as possible”.

Monday’s debate took place the day after the busiest day so far this year for Channel crossings, with more than 500 migrants arriving in the UK.

The latest crossings took the provisional total for the year so far to 6,265 – 28% higher than this time last year (4,899) and 7% higher than the 5,828 recorded at this point in 2022.

PA news agency analysis of the figures suggests 75,629 migrants have made the journey since then home secretary Dame Priti Patel signed what she called a “world first” agreement in Rwanda’s capital Kigali on April 14 2022.