The plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda by next spring, proposed by Rishi Sunak, is facing uncertainty as opposition parties and certain Conservative peers have promised to oppose the emergency legislation meant to implement the plan.
The home secretary, Suella Braverman, who was fired by Sunak on Monday, rejected the prime minister’s ideas as “magical thinking” and presented her own competing plan to ensure swift removals.
Next Monday, after the autumn statement next week, Downing Street will present a bill to parliament that is likely to declare Rwanda as a secure nation for processing asylum requests. This goes against the ruling made by the supreme court on Wednesday.
On Monday, Downing Street is expected to release a proposed treaty with Rwanda that aims to ensure proper treatment of asylum seekers upon being sent there.
The bill is set to be expedited through the House of Commons and House of Lords by No 10. However, its quick advancement will rely on collaboration from opposing parties. Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and SNP are all anticipated to oppose the suggestion.
Although the Conservatives hold a majority of 56 in the Commons, there may be challenges in the Lords as opposition peers could team up with concerned Conservative members. This is due to the proposed law to overturn a supreme court ruling being rushed through, causing alarm among some Conservative members.
A member of the Conservative party stated, “This may be prevented or delayed.” They also added, “I do not believe many Conservatives will oppose it, but several may choose to not participate. The party leaders have already exhausted a significant amount of support.”
A different member of the Conservative party expressed, “This legislation is bound to face widespread disapproval. It’s not just the topic, but also the lack of proper examination. Many individuals will take any means necessary to hinder its progress.”
On Thursday, Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, did not support Sunak’s goal of having flights resume by spring. “We cannot make guarantees. We must pass legislation in the House of Commons and sign a new international treaty with Rwanda.”
If there are any delays to the bill, Sunak will face significant pressure from the already agitated right-leaning Conservatives, who are demanding that the prime minister take more extreme measures.
Several Conservative Members of Parliament, believed to be more than twelve, have collectively sent a letter to Sunak requesting that the emergency legislation include a provision allowing the government to disregard decisions based on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) without consent.
In a piece for the Daily Telegraph, Braverman expressed support for this concept, stating that Sunak should be prepared to disregard both the ECHR and UN refugee convention. She called for parliament to convene during the holiday season in order to pass the required legislation before a deadline.
These strategies, or the concept of the United Kingdom completely exiting the European Convention on Human Rights, would be deemed unacceptable by moderate Conservatives within the party, which may include James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, and David Cameron, the newly appointed Foreign Secretary.
On Thursday, George Osborne, formerly the chancellor of Cameron and a trusted political partner, stated that Cameron’s return to government decreases the likelihood of pulling out of the ECHR and presenting it as a challenge to Labour in the upcoming election. Osborne shared his thoughts on the Political Currency podcast, noting that Cameron’s position as foreign secretary has essentially removed this option from consideration.
A representative for Sunak stated that the government believes passing the legislation and upholding the treaty is the most efficient way to resume asylum flights, as it aims to eliminate potential legal challenges. While Downing Street claims that the legislation would prevent widespread challenges, it is still uncertain if those facing deportation would still be able to file a court case.
According to a spokesperson, Sunak will urge members of Parliament and the House of Lords to support the law as it aligns with the desires of voters. The government believes this action is in line with the wishes of the public, and expects that parliament will also recognize this, although they will have the opportunity to examine the specifics.
He was asked to provide proof that the public is in favor of allowing the flights to depart. He responded by stating that he believes the Rwanda migration partnership is still a priority for the public and it is important for the government to follow through on it.