In a momentous turn of events, Suella Braverman, the former home secretary, has emerged as a strong critic of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's controversial Rwanda immigration plans. Speaking in the House of Commons, Braverman voiced the growing discontent within the Conservative Party over Sunak's policy, which proposes to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Electoral Peril and Tory Revolt
Braverman warned of a potential Tory revolt, cautioning the party about the risk of 'electoral oblivion.' The former home secretary, who was dismissed from her post following a cabinet reshuffle, expressed her concerns about the growing influx of young men into the UK, primarily economic migrants, not refugees. Braverman asserted that the government's current approach to immigration is placing an unsustainable burden on public finances and services, thus endangering national security and public safety.
Emergency Legislation and Governance Questions
The emergency legislation, designed to salvage the Rwanda plan, is set to be published soon after being deemed unlawful by the Supreme Court. Braverman's speech raised a broader question of governance in Britain, whether by the government or the courts, and underscored the necessity to fight for sovereignty.
Sunak's 'Magical Thinking'
Braverman accused Sunak of betraying a clandestine deal on migrant boats, branding his policy as 'magical thinking.' Despite the growing internal party divisions, Sunak has apparently decided against withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), even as some Tory members insist that the new bill should address human rights laws that have been used to obstruct the Rwanda policy.
Braverman's statement to the Commons, likened to Geoffrey Howe's 1990 resignation speech that led to Margaret Thatcher's downfall, surfaces amid broader political challenges for Sunak. These include discussions among G7 leaders on Ukraine and the conflict in Gaza, positioning Sunak at the center of an international and domestic political storm.