Skip to content

Right-Wing British MPs Revolt Against Sunak’s Rwanda Bill

Two chairmen of Britain’s Conservative Party have resigned and 60 right-wing Conservative MPs—dubbed “rebels” by the U.K. press—are revolting against Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Safety of Rwanda Bill, legislation which would allow the government to deport most migrants who illegally arrive in the U.K. after Jan. 1, 2022 to Rwanda. The issue is that the MPs don’t consider the bill strong enough and are demanding that the legislation be “toughened up.”

In order to maximize deportations, the current bill prevents migrants from using the U.K.’s Human Rights Act (HRA) as the basis for appealing their cases before immigration courts. The HRA is based on the European Convention of Human Rights to which the U.K. is a signatory. The bill also gives government ministers discretion to ignore injunctions issued on behalf of migrants by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)—also known as the Strasbourg Court—which has jurisdiction over the U.K. for determining human rights violations.

The so-called rebels are insisting that these measures are too weak, and that the bill must be amended to disallow any appeal of deportation whatsoever and automatically block any injunction by the ECHR with no discretion by government ministers to consider the injunction. Indeed, based on a recent YouGov poll, a plurality of British subjects in England and Wales agree. About 42% believe illegal migrants should be deported immediately with no right of appeal. Sunak fears that were the amendments to be included, the legislation would be in violation of international law forcing Rwanda to back out of its migrant deal with the U.K. The bill comes up for a vote by the full House of Commons on Jan. 17 and if passed then goes to the House of Lords for consideration.