Sinking Ship: The Thatcherite Backlash Against Sunak’s Rwanda Migration Bill

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s latest attempt to pass legislation that would send migrants to Rwanda has come under heavy scrutiny, especially among the older Conservatives who served under Margaret Thatcher.

Tory Resistance

Former Tory chairman Lord Deben has declared a fierce battle against Rishi Sunak’s latest legislative proposal, the Rwanda Bill, that attempts to send illegal immigrants to Rwanda.

Lord Deben boldly criticised the current government’s actions, saying that his former boss, Margaret Thatcher, would never have agreed with the proposed bill.

Lord Deben argued that the bill goes against the values of what it means to be a Conservative and said he would “fight until the very end” to get it removed.

Lord Deben said he was “a bit tired of having to remind this Government about what it means to be a conservative” before mentioning that the bill contradicts the Modern Slavery Act, as Rwanda has not signed up to it.

“We have a reputation in the world because of our Modern Slavery Act. It was a brave and important thing to do. I am proud that it was a Conservative government that did this,” Lord Deben announced.

Lord Deben admitted, “I’m not proud that there is a Conservative government undermining that when we know that more than three-quarters of those who appeal in these circumstances are found to be right in their appeal.” 

Supreme Court’s Verdict

The bill was initially disregarded by the Supreme Court, deeming Rwanda as an unsafe destination for asylum seekers.

“How on earth can we defend that on a moral basis, let alone on a practical basis? To a country which has not signed up to the international agreement on modern slavery?” Lord Deben questioned.

Lord Deben argued that Thatcher “would never have produced this, she believed in the rule of law,” and stated, “She knew Conservatives were about the rule of law.”

Lord Deben accused Rwanda of having “twice as many modern slaves as we do – and we admit that we have many that we have not traced.”

Dissent Echoes Through Lords

The House of Lords witnessed a vocal opposition, with Tory grandees, including Lord Tugendhat, fiercely criticising Rishi Sunak’s proposed Rwanda Bill.

“I do have to say that I find it quite extraordinary that the party of Margaret Thatcher should be introducing a Bill of this kind,” Lord Tugendhat said.

“It is simply untrue to state that it is the judgement of Parliament that Rwanda is a safe country,” were the words of Tory peer Viscount Hailsham.

Labour Peer’s Outright Disapproval

Labour peers were also voicing concern regarding the bill, with Baroness Chakrabarti warning the bill “threatens both the domestic rule of law, especially the separation of powers, and the international rules-based order”.

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer warned that the bill “doesn’t work,” claiming it would “cost a fortune” and that Labour completely opposes its passing.

Former PM Approves

Despite the criticism, many Conservative MPs, including the former Prime Minister and current Foreign Secretary David Cameron, approve of the bill.

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron said disregarding the bill would be “wrong” and urged the government “to get this Bill through Parliament”.

Other Conservatives, such as Lord Clarke, warned that the bill “sets an extremely dangerous precedent” and urged the Supreme Court to reject it.

Sunak’s Attempt to Win Public Approval

Despite the complaints, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made it his mission to get the bill passed in an attempt to win the public over after a heavy defeat has been predicted in the next general election.

The Conservative Party recently lost two seats in two by-elections by the heaviest margin since the end of the Second World War.

As the general election nears, Sunak’s priorities remain focused on “stopping the boats” despite the scrutiny he’s received in his methods to do so.

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The post Sinking Ship: The Thatcherite Backlash Against Sunak’s Rwanda Migration Bill first appeared on Edge Media.

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Oscar Davies, an expert in US and UK politics and sports, is renowned for his sharp and engaging writing style, appealing to a broad spectrum of readers.

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