Stopping all deportation appeals not the British thing to do, says minister | Immigration and asylum #Stopping #deportation #appeals #British #minister #Immigration #asylum

Shutting out all legal appeals against deportation by people who arrive in the UK through irregular means would not be “the British thing to do”, the illegal migration minister has argued, as Rishi Sunak launched a last-ditch effort to head off a potential rebellion by his own MPs.

As the prime minister hosted a group of potential rebels over breakfast on Tuesday morning, his new illegal migration minister left open the prospect that Tory MPs who vote against the Rwanda bill on Tuesday evening could have the whip withdrawn.

Michael Tomlinson, who has been at the forefront of government efforts to head off a rebellion and will make the case for the bill in the Commons on Tuesday afternoon, told broadcasters that the government would not pull the vote, and he said the proposed legislation would shut out 80% of the claims that had prevented the Rwanda flights from taking off.

“We have shut out virtually every single claim that is possible. What is not possible is to shut out every single claim,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “Nor would that be right, for two reasons. Firstly, it would breach international law. That is not the right thing to do. Secondly, because it is not the British thing to do. Even during the second world war did we not shut out claims going to court.”

Sunak has put the Rwanda bill at the heart of his policy to stop people crossing the Channel in small boats – one of five priorities he set out at the start of the year.

The legislation is designed to overcome concerns raised by the supreme court, which ruled last month that the policy in its previous form violated domestic and international law.

A revolt by 29 Conservative MPs could be enough to defeat the Rwanda bill at its first Commons hurdle – something that has not happened to a piece of government legislation since 1986.

A former senior government minister, Simon Clarke, said he had not decided whether to vote for the bill, and that the legislation as it stood was “still partial and incomplete”.

He said: “We believe the best solution here is that we should pause this legislation today and we should come back with a new bill.”

Danny Kruger, a co-chair of the New Conservatives group of backbenchers and one of those attending this morning’s breakfast, was also one of a number of senior Tories to say on Monday that they did not support the bill in its current form. He was joined by Miriam Cates, the other New Conservatives co-chair.

Also present at the breakfast was the Tory deputy chair Lee Anderson, who has called for the government to “ignore the law” and get flights to Rwanda in the air.

If ministers were to be defeated at the second reading stage, it would be the first time a government has lost such a vote since 1986, when dozens of Conservative MPs rebelled to defeat a plan by Margaret Thatcher to end Sunday trading restrictions.

In a sign of the scale of concern about the implications of the bill among human rights campaigners and those working with refugees, more than 90 organisations including Unison, Liberty, the Muslim Council of Britain, Freedom from Torture and the Centre for Mental Health signed a joint statement describing the bill as immoral and against international law.

They said: “It does nothing to properly address the court’s concerns about the Rwandan asylum system and removing our domestic courts’ jurisdiction to consider the issue. It is an abuse of parliament’s role.”

#Stopping #deportation #appeals #British #minister #Immigration #asylum

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