Thu. Mar 30th, 2023


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Sunak faces major test tonight in crunch Immigration Bill vote

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PM says new immigration bill is 'tough but necessary'

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An internal Conservative Party row is brewing ahead of a crunch vote on the UK’s immigration laws this evening. Two Tory MPs – Caroline Nokes and Chris Skidmore – have publicly said they will vote against the bill, which was introduced by Home Secretary Suella Braverman last week. A Number 10 source told the Daily Express that this evening’s vote is a three-line whip, but downplayed any chance of the whip being removed from Tory rebels, saying it is “clearly not a confidence vote”. 

One Tory MP was furious with Number 10’s refusal to threaten MPs with consequences should they refuse to back the bill, telling The Daily Express “It’s weak, and weakness will be what brings down the government”.

They added, “What is the point of the whip? There has been a complete breakdown of collective responsibility among ministers, of course lefty backbenchers are going to believe they’re going to get away with it.”

Ms Nokes said the new bill filled her with “absolute horror”, questioning how they would act as a “deterrent” to people attempting to cross the channel.

Mr Skidmore announced he would not be backing the bill on Twitter, saying: “I am not prepared to break international law or the human rights conventions that the UK has had a proud history of playing a leading role in establishing.

He added: “I will not be voting for the bill tonight.”

On Monday, the Home Secretary introduced new legislation to stop the small boats crisis once and for all by deporting tens of thousands of people entering the UK illegally.

The new legislation will stop asylum, modern slavery, and human rights laws being used by migrants who have breached Britain’s borders.

In her statement to the Commons, Ms Braverman warned that “patience has run out” adding that the “law-abiding patriotic majority have said enough is enough”.

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