In the United Kingdom, the immigration minister, a supporter of a hard line, resigns

The British immigration minister resigned on Wednesday December 6, claiming to be in “deep disagreement” with the policy of sending migrants to Rwanda, which, he judges, does not yet go “far enough”

In the United Kingdom, the immigration minister, a supporter of a hard line, resigns

The British immigration minister resigned on Wednesday December 6, claiming to be in “deep disagreement” with the policy of sending migrants to Rwanda, which, he judges, does not yet go “far enough”. Robert Jenrick, a supporter of a hard line to fight against the illegal arrival of migrants across the Channel, made his decision known after the publication of the bill which should make it possible to send them to Rwanda.

“I cannot remain in my post while profoundly disagreeing with the direction of the government's immigration policy,” the prime minister's long-time ally, Rishi Sunak, wrote on X. Mr. Sunak wrote to him responded in a letter that his departure was “disappointing,” and that it otherwise seemed “based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation.”

This resounding resignation comes at a time when the party's most right-wing conservatives are calling for freedom from international conventions to bring the project to fruition, at the risk of leading to a withdrawal from Kigali.

Earlier, former British Home Secretary Suella Braverman warned Rishi Sunak that the Tories risked “electoral oblivion in a few months” during the general election if he introduced new legislation “doomed to failure”. .

Call to leave the European Convention on Human Rights

The emergency bill presented to Parliament on Thursday should “unambiguously exclude the possibility for the courts” to challenge the fact that Rwanda is a “safe country”, after the setback inflicted by the British Supreme Court last month last. Magistrates blocked this project out of fear for the safety of migrants expelled in the African country.

This new text provides not to apply certain sections of the British law on human rights to expulsions, and provides that “ministers will retain the decision to comply or not with the measures of the European Court of Human Rights”. However, he did not go so far as to sign London's withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights, as demanded by Suella Braverman and her allies.

The stakes are “too important for us not to seek the strongest protections, necessary to put an end to the merry-go-round of legal challenges which risk paralyzing the system and canceling the deterrent effect” of the measure, judged Robert Jenrick . “If we completely oust the courts, the whole system would collapse,” replied Rishi Sunak in his letter to the minister.

Nearly 39,000 arrivals on small boats in 2023

At the same time, Rwanda warned on Wednesday that it would withdraw from the bilateral treaty signed the day before with the United Kingdom if London did not respect international law. Rwanda’s foreign minister, Vincent Biruta, warned that “without lawful behavior from the UK, Rwanda would not be able to continue the partnership” on immigration. “There would be no point in adopting a law that would leave us without a place to send” these migrants, Rishi Sunak wanted to reassure, with the government hoping to see the first planes take off in April.

A first plane was to take migrants to Kigali in June 2022, but the flight was canceled at the last minute after an injunction from a judge of the European Court of Human Rights. More than 29,700 people have arrived in the UK this year on small boats, up from 45,700 in 2022.