Robert Jenrick has resigned as Immigration Minister following the unveiling of emergency legislation by Rishi Sunak to facilitate deportation flights to Rwanda.
Jenrick's disagreement with PM's plan
In a blow to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Robert Jenrick, who is considered a favorite among right-wing supporters, has decided that the PM's plan for dealing with illegal migrants will not work. Jenrick had proposed including an opt-out of European human rights laws in the new Rwanda Bill, but his idea was rejected by Rishi Sunak.
Confirmation of Jenrick's resignation
While Robert Jenrick has not yet published a resignation letter, Home Secretary James Cleverly confirmed in the Commons chamber that Jenrick has indeed stepped down as the MP for Newark.
Toughest immigration legislation ever
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled what he calls the "toughest immigration legislation ever." The new Safety and Rwanda bill will grant Johnson the power to overrule European judges and disapply elements of the Human Rights Act that could lead to legal delays.
Hope for removals by next spring
The new legislation is accompanied by a treaty signed yesterday with Rwanda, with the aim of starting the first removals by next spring.
Call for Tory unity
Rishi Sunak urged Conservative MPs to "unite or die" in order to avoid a party dispute over the bill.
Blocking legal challenges
The government aims to prevent legal challenges to their flagship scheme by declaring in law that Rwanda is a "safe" country. This, coupled with the disapplication of certain sections of the Human Rights Act, is expected to force courts to dismiss any challenges.
Ministers overriding European Court of Human Rights
The bill will also grant ministers the power to override European Court of Human Rights edicts, ensuring that planes are not blocked from taking off, as happened in 2022.
Concerns over breaching ECHR
Home Secretary James Cleverly was unable to guarantee that the plan would not breach the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
Although the legislation may anger centrist Tory MPs, Rishi Sunak maintains that it is necessary to address the migrant crisis. According to the Prime Minister, the continuous flow of illegal migration is costing the country both financially and in terms of innocent lives. The emergency legislation aims to regain control of the country's borders and prevent criminal gangs from deciding who comes into the UK.