DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Rebel Tories must see sense on Rwanda plan

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Rebel Tories must see sense on Rwanda plan

It is not unusual for a prime minister to have one rump of rebellious MPs on his or her backbenches causing trouble. Rishi Sunak has the misfortune to have two.

With both flanks threatening to scupper his flagship Rwanda scheme, he must feel like his head is clamped in a vice.

One faction believes the Government’s emergency legislation, designed finally to get the deportation flights off the ground, is too severe. The other thinks it is weak to the point of being unworkable.

Applying pressure from one side are the so-called One Nation liberals, upset the Bill not only clips the wings of unelected judges, but reins in their beloved Human Rights Act.

Putting Mr Sunak under duress from the opposite side is the Tory Right. Since the policy allows Channel migrants to lodge legal challenges against removal to Rwanda, they say, it will be doomed to failure.

Home Secretary James Cleverly (right) and Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta (left)  sign a new deal on a reworked asylum scheme in Kigali, Rwanda, onTuesday

If Mr Sunak fails to get the Rwanda legislation through the Commons, he would be in a profoundly perilous position. Pictured: Britain’s Home Secretary James Cleverly arrives at Kigali International Airport, Rwanda

But before attempting to scuttle the plan, these vain and arrogant rebels should take a deep breath. The Prime Minister insists his Bill is not just the best chance of stopping the small boats; it is the only chance. This newspaper wholeheartedly agrees.

The Rwanda deterrent would serve the needs of Britain’s law-abiding citizens, rather than line the pockets of foreign criminals and encourage people to put themselves, and their rescuers, in danger.


Forcibly removing even a few illegal migrants would seriously compromise the evil trade. Would they pay smugglers thousands of pounds if there was the prospect they’d end up in Kigali, not Kent?

But we’ll only know whether or not the scheme works when the first deportee lodges an appeal and the courts rule.

So we strongly urge rebel MPs to show common sense, to compromise – and to come together. Over 13 years, the Conservatives have been elected on a promise to control our borders. Immigration is now the No 1 concern among 2019 Tory voters – miles ahead of the economy.

Killing off the Rwanda scheme prematurely would prove the Government was unable – or unwilling – to carry out their instructions, spelling annihilation at the ballot box.

With tiresome predictability, the Left has exploded in confected outrage at the plan costing £300million so far, despite never being used. But this is sheer hypocrisy. These hand-wringers bleat on about how stingy Britain supposedly is with foreign aid. Yet the money handed to Rwanda is transforming its infrastructure.

And to put it in another context, that sum barely covers the bill for putting Channel migrants up in hotels here for a month.

Incredibly, there is talk among disgruntled Tory MPs of a leadership challenge against Mr Sunak. This would be madness. The party has had three prime ministers in 15 months. Installing a fourth would be prima facie proof it needed putting out of its misery.

Ordinary, pragmatic people across the nation are appalled by the distracting and damaging internecine warfare. It is time the Conservatives started behaving responsibly.

Make no mistake: The only person whose interests are served by the ongoing instability is Sir Keir Starmer, who will end up in No 10 by default. Yet he has no alternative plan to tackle illegal immigration.

Despite Labour’s huge poll lead, there is no hankering among voters for the deeply unconvincing Sir Keir. How much better it would be for the country if Tory MPs trained their fire on him – not their own leader.

Royal Mail’s Xmas fail

In these troubling days, receiving a Christmas card from a loved one is a small pleasure. So how dispiriting that bosses at the Royal Mail stand accused of prioritising money-spinning packages over festive post.

Customers have already switched in their droves to e-cards because of the company’s increasingly shoddy service.

If bosses can’t even be bothered at Christmas time, why should customers bother with them for the rest of the year?

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