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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak seeks to prevent partisan rebellion with new immigration bill in Rwanda

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak seeks to prevent partisan rebellion with new immigration bill in Rwanda

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 06: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak departs from Number 10 Downing Street ahead of the weekly PMQ session of the House of Commons on December 06, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Leon Neal | Getty Images News | Getty Images

LONDON – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Thursday that the next vote will determine whether illegal immigrants can be deported. A visit to Rwanda would not be a vote of confidence in his government.

Sunak is struggling to keep the Conservative Party united and prevent right-wing factions from rebelling over immigration issues.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister revealed a plan to set aside some human rights laws in order to pass his main policy on Rwanda through Parliament. He said the new legislation “fundamentally” addresses concerns about the integrity of the African nation raised by the Supreme Court.

“This bill ends the spiral of legal challenges that have hampered our politics for so long,” Sunak said in a hastily called press conference, describing the bill as “the most difficult immigration law ever.”

The draft law is scheduled to be presented to Parliament on Thursday, and a first vote on it is likely to be held on Tuesday next week. However, Sunak said he would not treat the result as a vote of confidence in his party, nor would he try to oust Conservative lawmakers who vote against it.

“The issue of this vote of confidence in Parliament is to prove that it is frustrating the British people,” Sunak said.

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It comes a day after Sunak’s illegal immigration minister, Robert Jenrick, resigned, saying the legislation “does not go far enough” and that “stronger protections” were needed to prevent paralysis of the controversial scheme. Jenrick was replaced on Thursday by Michael Tomlinson.

The Prime Minister has placed plans to stop illegal boat crossings into the UK at the heart of his political strategy since the start of the year. But he faced setbacks after his plans to deport migrants to Rwanda were rejected illegal By the Supreme Court last month.

Sunak said his new proposals would end the 18-month legal battle that led to this Major divisions within his party.

“This bill prevents all the reasons that prevented flights to Rwanda from taking off,” he said.

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman – who was ousted by Sunak last month – told the BBC’s Today program on Thursday that the Prime Minister’s Rwanda Bill would “fail” and would see him lose the next election.

Braverman and other conservative politicians on the party’s right have demanded that the UK withdraw from international treaties in order to regain control over its immigration policy.

However, Sunak said he was “confident” that the plan would be passed, and that he “would not allow a foreign court to block it” – an apparent reference to party members who want the UK to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. rights.

“There is no way to stop people from coming here unless you have a deterrent,” he added.

Sunak said the new bill sets the threshold for entry into the country very high, and exceptions will only be made for asylum seekers who face a “real and imminent” risk of serious harm.

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