Braverman says Labour has ‘no plan’ on small boats
Rishi Sunak is preparing for a showdown with the Lords as his flagship small boats legislation returns to the Commons this afternoon.
The Government is in a stand-off with unelected peers who are demanding further concessions to the Illegal Migration Bill, which has faced stiff opposition in the upper chamber from critics including the Archbishop of Canterbury.
It means the continuation of the parliamentary tussle known as ping-pong, where the draft law is batted between the Lords and Commons until an agreement is reached.
Peers want more concessions on limits to the detention of children, modern slavery protections and the provision of safe and legal routes for refugees to the UK.
There is a so-called “Trojan horse” amendment which would effectively allow European judges to ground deportation flights.
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The amendment tabled by Baroness Chakrabarti demands that regard must be given to the UK’s international obligations on protection of human rights, refugees and rights of the child, as well as tackling human trafficking.
The draft legislation is likely to finally pass by Wednesday after a final 48 hours of wrangling.
Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt confirmed there would be time set aside to debate it today, tomorrow and Wednesday before Parliament’s summer recess begins on Thursday.
The Lords last week inflicted a string of fresh defeats on the Government over the Bill.
The Commons had previously overturned a raft of earlier revisions by the upper chamber.
Mr Sunak is also facing rebellions by Tory MPs – including former prime minister Theresa May – who have concerns about the draft legislation.
The Bill is part of a package of measures designed to deter migrants from crossing the Channel by making it clear that if they enter the UK illegally they will face being sent either to their home country or a third country such as Rwanda.
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick last week warned there will be no further concessions.
He also slammed critics for not putting forward any “credible alternative”.
Mr Jenrick told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme: “It’s incumbent on those who choose to criticise our approach to provide an alternative.
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“It’s not a serious or grown-up way to conduct a debate to say, ‘well we have concerns about Rwanda’, ‘we don’t like the compliant environment’ – ‘We don’t want this, we don’t want to’, but not to come up with an alternative.”
It comes as the plan to send migrants on a one-way ticket to Rwanda has so far been grounded by legal challenges and will end up in the Supreme Court.
The Government is also seeking to cut the eye-watering cost of hotel bills by using alternative accommodation including the Bibby Stockholm and former military bases.
More than 13,000 migrants have arrived in the UK so far this year after making the dangerous journey across the Channel.
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