What is the Tory party’s policy on immigration after record-breaking net migration figures and the failure of its Rwanda policy at the Supreme Court? It was a question that was actually asked this afternoon by a Conservative MP. James Morris confronted immigration minister Robert Jenrick in the Commons on the new Home Secretary’s claim that the Rwanda policy was not the ‘be all and end all’ for the government. He asked twice what the Conservative policy on stopping the boats is. The immigration minister replied:
When my right honourable friend the Prime Minister and I set out our comprehensive plan this time last year, it had many facets, one of which – an extremely important component of which – was our Rwanda plan but it was not the only element of our plan and we have worked intensively over the course of the last 12 months on each and every facet of that plan and those on the opposite benches jeer but is that plan working? Yes it is!
James Cleverly didn’t repeat his phrase from the weekend – the one about Rwanda not being the ‘be all and end all’ – when he was also questioned on the Rwanda emergency legislation, which will seek to shore up the policy after its legal defeat two weeks ago and could be introduced as early as next month. Many questions came from Cleverly’s own side, including from former cabinet minister Simon Clarke, who pressed him on his ‘profound conviction’ that any new immigration legislation must override parts of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Home Secretary did not offer that, nor did he give Miriam Cates or Jack Brereton the assurances they asked for about the bill and its robustness in the face of future litigation.