Suella Braverman says UK’s Rwanda bill will fail

Suella Braverman says UK’s Rwanda bill will fail

LONDON (AFP): The UK’s former interior minister Suella Braverman on Thursday urged Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to change course on immigration, as his ruling Conservatives faced fresh infighting over the issue.

Sunak’s government unveiled its latest attempt to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda on Wednesday, which sparked the resignation of immigration minister Robert Jenrick who said it was not tough enough.

The bill compels judges to treat Rwanda as a safe country and proposes giving ministers powers to disregard sections of human rights legislation.

But hardliners including Suella Braverman and Jenrick want powers to go further and dismiss the European Convention on Human Rights altogether, to prevent the courts stopping removals.

The issue makes immigration a major political battleground in the general election expected next year, but more immediately puts the more centrist Sunak’s position under threat from a party split.

Suella Braverman, sacked by Sunak last month, told BBC radio she wanted the prime minister “to succeed in stopping the boats” crossing the Channel with migrants but his latest plan would not work.

“You can’t tweak at this problem. We can’t do half measures. We have to totally exclude international law –- the (UN) Refugee Convention, other broader avenues of legal challenge,” she said.

The former attorney general has become the cheerleader of the Tory right and is thought to be positioning herself as a future party leader if Sunak loses the election.

“The facts don’t lie (on immigration) and we need to deliver on a key promise,” she said. “That’s how we will win the next general election,” she said.

“We’ve made the promise, the prime minister made the promise to stop the boats at the beginning of the year. We now need to deliver on that pledge.”

Sunak’s Conservatives are trailing badly in the polls, which predict a return to power for Keir Starmer’s Labour for the first time since 2010.

Jenrick said in his resignation letter that the proposals in the emergency legislation were not strong enough and represented a “triumph of hope over experience”.

That was seen as a reference to Sunak’s refusal to take the UK out of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Rwanda’s foreign minister on Wednesday threatened to pull out of the treaty signed on Tuesday if the UK does not respect international law.