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    5. Rwanda row threatens to split Conservative Party Brexit-style


    Rwanda row threatens to split Conservative Party Brexit-style

    Four main factions have rocked the prime minister's premiership, with one in ten voters considering the Reform Party

    The Conservative Party, whose two flanks are in a bitter standoff and threaten to rebel. The Conservative Prime Minister is trying to make the difference with critical legislation.

    The Star Chambers are called upon to make a decision. Mutterings from management about the consequences of failure. And all the while, the party linked to Nigel Farage has been collecting Conservative votes.

    It's no surprise that Rishi Sunak's troubles trying to keep the Tories united on immigration this week sent shivers through Theresa May's supporters. when she tried to negotiate a Brexit deal.

    Lord Barwell said: “It feels like the end of 2018, the beginning of 2019.” As Mrs May's chief of staff, he was in the trenches of parliamentary battles over the terms on which Britain should leave the European Union.

    “It feels like the party has returned to this ungovernable space, this ungovernable space. You have two wings of the party, and it is very difficult to see where the landing zone is.”

    Mrs. May's fate is known – she failed to accept the Brexit agreement and paid with the end of her premiership. Mr Sunak's position is less clear as scores of his MPs consider their options this week.

    Renewed Tory split

    Comparisons to Brexit may not be entirely appropriate. There was no referendum on the Rwandan deportation scheme, an issue that reignited the Conservative feud this week.

    The debate has not been as ingrained in Conservative politics for decades as the split over Europe. Fewer MPs have built their political careers around the issue.

    Yet the question of how hard the Tory government should try to cut down on both legal and illegal migration is becoming a defining issue for the party.

    It has brought the divided Conservative Party back to the top of power. news reports and lofty mutterings about whether Mr Sunak is truly the best man to lead the party at the next general election.

    The 'hard' option

    Downing Street's Immigration Week was designed to put Mr Sunak front and center with a hat-trick of announcements over the following days, each of which has been prepared at high speed in recent weeks.

    Monday brought a package of measures to reduce net migration that has gone further than expected, a move to address annual net migration that recently peaked at 745,000.

    The plan, including raising the work visa wage threshold and limiting the number of relatives receiving foreign social assistance a worker can bring with them, is estimated to reduce annual immigration by about 300,000 people.

    Then followed a new agreement with Rwanda , under which Home Secretary James Cleverley flew to Kigali to negotiate an agreement that made it clear that no asylum seeker sent there by the UK would then be sent home to their country of origin.

    But it was what happened on Wednesday, the second part of the government's effort to review a Supreme Court ruling that the scheme in Rwanda was illegal, that triggered the worst split in the Conservative Party.

    So-called “emergency” legislation was unveiled , a bill of just 12 pages that was designed to protect the scheme from legal challenges so flights carrying asylum seekers could get back into the air.

    There were weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations between Downing Street, the Home Office and various factions of the Tories over exactly what the proposed legislation would say.

    In the end, according to No 10, they chose the “hard” option. Rwanda will be unilaterally declared a safe country, meaning British courts will have to effectively accept this.

    The Human Rights Act will not apply in cases of deportation from Rwanda. It was also clear that UK ministers could ignore the European Court's injunctions on this issue.

    'Emotional' withdrawal

    The problem for the Prime Minister was twofold. Centrist Conservatives feared that things had gone too far; Tory migration hardliners believe it has not gone far enough. The latest tension was the first to emerge.

    Shortly after the insulting questions to the Prime Minister on Wednesday, Mr Sunak met privately with Robert Jenrick in his parliamentary office behind the Speaker's chair.

    As immigration minister, Mr Mr Jenrick had been the prime minister's point person on the issue for more than a year and was an ally appointed to the post to check the then home secretary Suella Braverman.

    Mr Jenrick was a political friend of Mr Sunak. . Together with fellow Tory Oliver Dowden, they wrote an influential article endorsing Boris Johnson to lead the party in the 2019 election.

    But Jenrick has now made clear he does not believe the legislation is strong enough. to resume flights to Rwanda, and failed to pass the House of Commons.

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