Rees-Mogg acknowledges backbench inflation concerns over Sunak

PM will look ‘hopeless’ if Rwanda bill passes and fails, says Jacob Rees-Mogg

Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg has warned the prime minister he will look “hopeless” if the Government’s Rwanda bill fails to result in migrant deportation flights finally taking off.

Speaking on his GB News show last night, the former cabinet minister argued the Rishi Sunak could not afford to fail on the issue again. 

He said: “Passing an ineffective bill would make the government look hopeless. In many ways it would be better to do nothing than to fail again because this is actually the third go at trying to get people deported to Rwanda.”

It comes as Conservative MPs on the right of the parliamentary party look to amend the bill to toughen up the legislation.

It is thought that more than 40 Conservative MPs have agreed to back four key amendments to significantly strengthen the bill.

The tabled amendments aim to prevent migrants blocking their deportation to Rwanda through individual appeals; automatically block injunctions from European judges; and disapply the European Convention on Human Rights on asylum cases.

However, they are expected to fail without support from the government.

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With the crunch vote on the bill as a whole coming as early as Wednesday next week, the government faces losing if more than 28 Conservative MPs vote against it or if 55 abstain.

Rishi Sunak has insisted that his version of the bill is the “only approach” and going a further “inch” would risk Rwanda pulling out of the deal.

Damian Green, the former de facto deputy prime minister and a chair of the One Nation caucus, told The New Statesman: “The prime minister’s looked me in the eye and said that he doesn’t want to go any further.”

Sir Robert Buckland, the former justice secretary and moderate Conservative, is also due to table an amendment on Thursday designed to make the bill more compliant with the rule of law.

Senior Conservatives warn Rishi Sunak not to ‘pick fight’ with ECHR over Rwanda response is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of UK politics. Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.