Conservative MPs with ties to Suella Braverman are placing additional pressure on Rishi Sunak. They are sending a letter to him, asking for “radical” policies to be implemented before Christmas that will restrict immigration.
Members of the conservative Common Sense Group are sending a letter to the prime minister in order to urge for prompt measures regarding legal migration figures. They also request reassurance that the planned bill to address the supreme court’s dismissal of the Rwanda plan will be thorough enough to withstand any potential legal opposition.
One individual stated that in order for the item to be officially recorded, it must happen quickly. It must occur before Christmas and before the house of Commons adjourns.
The action is occurring as the Minister for Immigration, Robert Jenrick, had to support the Home Secretary, James Cleverly, against backlash from Conservative members of Parliament who were upset by Cleverly’s admission of being irritated by a strong focus on the Rwanda policy.
Jenrick, who has faced criticism from the opposition for potentially resigning due to his support for stricter migration policies, informed conservative MPs that the Rwanda program is still a significant aspect of the government’s agenda. This statement came after Cleverly stated over the weekend that the program is not the sole focus of their policies.
There were uncertainties regarding the schedule for a new agreement with Rwanda and the implementation of promised legislation following the supreme court’s decision that the deportation plan was illegal. However, No 10 did not confirm if the pact would be finalized before Christmas.
The prime minister’s spokesperson stated that it will be released in the upcoming weeks. However, sources have also mentioned that information about the treaty and emergency legislation, which is meant to override the supreme court’s decision that the policy was illegal, may be revealed this week.
During uncomfortable interactions in parliament, Member of Parliament James Morris of the Conservative party referenced statements made by Cleverly in an interview with The Times expressing frustration with the focus on the Rwanda policy.
Morris inquired of Jenrick, who was seated next to Cleverly: “Does the minister concur with the home secretary? And if so, what is the government’s stance on addressing boat-related illegal migration and resisting it? What is our policy?”
Jenrick stated that the government’s strategy still considers the Rwanda deportation plan to be of great importance.
Cleverly stated that he would not make any assumptions about the content of the government’s emergency legislation regarding its Rwanda program, while other Conservative MPs asked for confirmation that the bill would allow for international treaties to be disregarded.
They included MPs from the increasingly vocal New Conservatives grouping including its co-chair, Miriam Cates, who asked for assurances that yet-to-be published legislation would take “precedence” over “the interpretation” of international treaties and from Jack Brereton, who asked whether “legal exemptions” would be in place.
A recent agreement with Rwanda regarding the asylum proposal and urgent laws – aimed at overturning the supreme court’s decision that the policy was illegal – was predicted to be implemented right after the verdict. However, due to the Commons recess starting on 19 December, there are insufficient days for the treaty to be approved before the new year according to the current schedule. Number 10 has stated that a minimum of 21 days are necessary.
Conservative Members of Parliament are concerned about the timely introduction of emergency legislation that would grant parliament the power to declare the Rwanda scheme as safe. They want it to be brought forward quickly to avoid missing an opportunity this year.
At a Monday event, Sunak stated his determination to decrease net migration, despite reports that he went back on a deal made during a leadership contest with Braverman to increase the salary requirement for migrant workers to £40,000.
He stated that “we must increase our efforts” and mentioned considering the limit for the number of dependents students can bring when they come to study in the UK. While there is no official plan confirmed by No 10, Kemi Badenoch, the business secretary, hinted in interviews that the salary threshold may be raised as part of “significantly stricter measures” being developed.