Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith have just resigned as deputy party chairmen over the government’s Rwanda Bill. Below is their joint resignation letter, in full:
Dear Prime Minister,
When we were elected in 2019 we promised the public that we would Get Brexit Done and Take Back Control. One of the key issues for the public was our sovereignty and making sure our Parliament and our courts would have supremacy over distant and unaccountable ones abroad. This Conservative Government has taken unprecedented steps to make sure that this is the case.
Globally we see the huge impact of migration, both legal and illegal and that is why it has been so important to bring in measures to bring these numbers down. Our returns policy and working together with partners such as Albania is but one example of how this Government has taken up the challenge, alongside our work against criminal networks. The Rwanda plan represents a clear deterrent and it is noteworthy that other countries are now looking at following our lead.
The United Kingdom is a welcoming country and we can be very proud of our record taking in refugees and those who wish to contribute to society and make it their home. indeed, many of those who have done so would be the first to recognise that this system also needs to be robust and supported by the principle of fairness. There are far too many who wish to cheat our system and we continue to witness the scourge of the evil people smuggling gangs, with yet more tragic deaths in the Channel.
Whilst we have taken steps to tackle these important issues, we have done so being bound by a Blair-era legal framework and international agreements which are out of date and do not reflect the realities of the twenty first century.