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Home ยป Suella Braverman: Tories Face ‘electoral Oblivion’ If Rwanda Bill Fails

Suella Braverman: Tories Face ‘electoral Oblivion’ If Rwanda Bill Fails

Media caption, The former home secretary tells her party it is “now or never” to act over illegal migration into the UK.

By Becky Morton

Political reporter

The Conservative Party faces “electoral oblivion” if the government’s Rwanda legislation is “destined to fail”, Suella Braverman has warned.

The ex-home secretary told MPs the bill must block all routes of legal challenge to allow flights to take off.

Last month the UK’s Supreme Court ruled plans to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda were unlawful.

The government has promised emergency legislation, designed to address the court’s concerns.

On Tuesday, Home Secretary James Cleverly also signed a new treaty with Rwanda. The government hopes the treaty, combined with the new bill, will be enough to allow the Rwanda policy to go ahead.

In a personal statement to the House of Commons after she was sacked from her cabinet role last month, Mrs Braverman said she welcomed the decision to introduce emergency legislation but said “we are running out of time”.

“The Conservative Party faces electoral oblivion in a matter of months if we introduce yet another bill destined to fail,” she told MPs.

“Do we fight for sovereignty or do we let our party die?”

Mrs Braverman said the bill must deliver on the prime minister’s pledge to stop small boats crossing the Channel and set out a number of tests she said it must meet to do this.

These included addressing the Supreme Court’s concerns about the safety of Rwanda and “blocking off all routes of challenge” to enable flights carrying asylum seekers to the east African country before the next election.

Although Mrs Braverman said she supported leaving the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), she said this was not the only way to stop the boats.

“I accept that the government won’t do that and that it is a debate for another day,” she added.

Instead she proposed that the bill should override the UK’s Human Rights Act, the ECHR and other international law.

“The powers to detain and remove must be exercisable notwithstanding the Human Rights Act, the European Convention on Human Rights, the Refugee Convention, and all other international law,” she said.

She added that Parliament should be prepared to sit over Christmas to pass the bill.

Image source, Reuters

Image caption, Home Secretary James Cleverly signed a new treaty with Rwanda on Tuesday

Since leaving government, Mrs Braverman has been a vocal critic of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

In a scathing letter following her sacking she accused the PM of “betraying” his promise to do whatever it takes to “stop the boats”.

However, in her Commons statement she struck a more conciliatory tone, saying Mr Sunak “should be commended for dedicating more time and toil than any of his predecessors” to the issue.

She added that tougher visa rules announced earlier this week “start to better reflect public frustration on legal migration”.

“If we summon the political courage to do what is truly necessary, difficult though it may be, to fight for the British people, we will regain their trust,” she said.

“And if the prime minister leads that fight, he has my total support.”