The United Kingdom’s Conservative Party faces internal turmoil as the government unveils emergency laws to advance a controversial deportation plan to Rwanda. Reports suggest UK Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick has resigned, citing “strong disagreements” with the government’s immigration policy direction.
In his resignation letter, Jenrick expressed concerns, calling the proposed laws “a triumph of hope over experience.” He emphasized the necessity of stronger protections to avoid legal challenges and ensure the intended deterrent effect.
The “Safety of Rwanda Bill” responds to a UK Supreme Court decision deeming the government’s earlier deportation plan illegal. The legislation, declaring Rwanda a safe country, aims for swift approval in the House of Commons. It navigates around certain aspects of the Human Rights Act, asserting parliamentary control over immigration decisions.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak championed the emergency law, emphasizing its role in border control, discouraging perilous journeys, and addressing legal challenges. Sunak stated, “It is parliament that should decide who comes to this country, not criminal gangs.”
The law’s publication coincided with Home Secretary James Cleverly signing a fresh treaty during his visit to Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, outlining commitments for the treatment of asylum seekers and migrants.
Sunak, born to parents of Indian descent, reaffirms plans for deportation flights in spring 2024. The UK’s engagement with Rwanda on asylum claims processing began in April 2022, with subsequent legal challenges and court rulings shaping the current legislative response.