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Rwanda legislation due in 'coming weeks', says UK PM Rishi Sunak's spokesman

Emergency legislation to thwart legal challenges to the British government's policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda will be introduced in the coming weeks, a spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Thursday.

"We will be introducing the emergency legislation in the coming weeks," he told reporters, declining to offer a more detailed timeframe.

He also said the government believed the emergency legislation would rule out any "systemic" legal challenge from domestic courts.

After suffering a devastating defeat in the country's top court, Sunak said he aims to revive his flagship immigration policy though legal experts question whether it will be enough to overcome the legal obstacles.

The UK Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled the government's scheme to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was unlawful, leading members of parliament in Sunak's Conservative Party to demand he find a way to enact one of his government's centrepiece pledges.

Sunak said he was working on a new treaty with Rwanda that would address the points made by the court, would pass an emergency law to designate Rwanda a safe country, and was "prepared to do what is necessary" to stop any foreign court blocking deportation flights.

But whether his actions will be enough to satisfy the courts, or restless members on the right of his party, some of whom have warned of a leadership challenge, remain to be seen.

"The PM was right to say we have to do 'whatever it takes' - but it's now clear that what it will 'take' is more than a reheat of this, or a new treaty with Rwanda," said Conservative lawmaker Neil O'Brien.


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