Government’s latest Rwanda plan condemned as ‘bonkers’ by one of its own MPs

Government’s latest Rwanda plan condemned as ‘bonkers’ by one of its own MPs
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 06/12/2023

- 08:42

Updated: 06/12/2023

- 08:49

Dame Andrea Jenkyns has revealed how groups of centre-right Conservative MPs are working together to study the government’s latest proposal on Rwanda and if it will satisfy their requirements to reduce immigration into the UK.

Speaking to GB News, Dame Andrea said:

“I was at [a meeting] last night (Monday) with the New Conservatives, the 2019 intake of centre right Conservatives. Tonight, they came to our ERG meeting and tomorrow there's another one with the Common Sense Group.

“We're committed to working on this together because it's so important for our constituents and our country.

“I think it's too early to say what we're going to do yet because we need to examine this. But all I can say is that we're committed to working together because we've seen how the left of the party work so well together, so we're doing the same.

“At the meeting this evening, we had Suella [Braverman], we had Priti [Patel], Jacob was there: We have some really strong contenders putting their views forward on what we need to do.

“Bill Cash was there who is restarting the star chamber.

“During the Brexit days, the heady days of Brexit, where we had to fight in Parliament against all the Remainers in Parliament to get Brexit, the Star Chamber was a strong force because these are lawyers, and some of them are parliamentarians who are also lawyers, who will be examining the detail and see how watertight it is, and can it be challenged.

“I've definitely got concerns to be honest. The tone of that first page [of the Treaty] I think it's actually going to be a feast for lefty lawyers. But it's the small print that we’ve seen bits coming out tonight where it says the Rwandan government decides on a case by case basis whether they want to take these people into that country.

“And also we've got to take refugees from their country so to me, if we're trying to get the numbers down, it just seems bonkers.

“How are we getting the numbers down if we're taking extra from them?

Asked if she would vote for that, Dame Andrea said:

“Not as it stands, of course I couldn’t.

“The measures that were announced in the last 24-48 hours about raising the threshold as well, with what people coming over have to earn, I'm pleased with measures like this.

“But that doesn't begin until the Spring, and how many more people are going to come in before the Spring?

“So I think we need to get our finger out, we need to get working on this immediately and this better be watertight because if it isn't, the flights are not going to be going out to Rwanda.

“If the star chamber concludes it’s not watertight, it’s always down to the individual MP. If we’re talking during the times of Brexit when they looked at Theresa May’s deal, they looked at Boris’s deal, we waited for their judgement on it.

“A lot of us in the ERG voted against. There were 20-odd Spartans who voted against Theresa May’s deal – however it’s down to the individual MP.

“So it depends whether those individual MPs can be bought off by the whips as well.

I'd say looking at the ERG membership used to be like, we'd have 80 to 100 members. I'd say it's probably, with the other groups, maybe 140 MPs.

“It could be defeated. But we need a solution. We want it to succeed because we want to be sending people across to other countries.

“France is ignoring the European Court of Human Rights and sending a radical Islamist to a country which they're deemed unsafe. So if they can ignore it, why can’t we?”


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