Braverman warns Tories they face ‘electoral oblivion’ if Rwanda plan fails

Suella Braverman delivering a personal statement to the House of Commons
Suella Braverman speaks to her party MPs in the Commons on Wednesday - Maria Unger/UK Parliament/Maria Unger/UK Parliament

Suella Braverman said the Tories face “electoral oblivion” if they fail to implement their Rwanda plan.

The former home secretary, making a resignation statement in the Commons, said Rishi Sunak would lead his party to a disastrous defeat if he introduced emergency legislation on Rwanda that is “destined to fail”.

She revealed that she had told the Prime Minister he should scrap the Bill and replace it with more robust legislation excluding asylum claims from international and human rights laws.

Mrs Braverman told MPs: “It is now or never. The Conservative Party faces electoral oblivion in a matter of months if we introduce yet another Bill destined to fail.

“Do we fight for sovereignty or let our party die? I refuse to sit by and allow the trust that millions of people have put in us be discarded like an inconvenient detail.”

Mrs Braverman was sacked by Mr Sunak three weeks ago after she criticised the police for being too lenient with protesters who chanted in support of “jihad” in London.

Ministers are able to make a resignation statement in such circumstances, but the right is rarely taken up.

Geoffrey Howe’s statement in 1990 helped bring about the fall of Margaret Thatcher just a week later - but Ms Braverman’s is not expected to have the same impact.

Resignation speech

In her speech, she said Britain was facing “mass, uncontrolled, illegal immigration” involving thousands of “mostly young men, many with values and social mores at odds with our own”.

The former home secretary questioned whether the government understood the “unsustainable pressure” placed on public finances and services, and the impact on community cohesion and national security.

She said Mr Sunak should be “commended for dedicating more time and toil than any of his predecessors to this endeavour” before outlining her expectations for emergency legislation to revive the Rwanda deportation scheme.

The legislation attempts to enable Parliament to deem Rwanda a safe destination and address the concerns that led the Supreme Court to rule Mr Sunak’s asylum policy unlawful.

Mrs Braverman said: “On Monday, the Prime Minister announced measures that start to better reflect public frustration on legal migration. He can now follow that up with a Bill that reflects public fury on illegal migration and actually stops the boats.

“It is now or never. The Conservative Party faces electoral oblivion in a matter of months if we introduce yet another Bill destined to fail. Do we fight for sovereignty or do we let our party die?

“I may not have always found the right words in the past, but I refuse to sit by and allow us to fail. The trust that millions of people placed in us cannot be discarded as an inconvenient detail.

“If we summon the political courage to do what is truly necessary, difficult though it may be, to fight for the British people we will regain their trust. And, if the Prime Minister leads that fight, he has my total support.”

‘Insane’ human rights laws

Mrs Braverman revealed she advised that the Illegal Migration Bill should be scrapped in favour of a “more robust alternative”.

“As Home Secretary I consistently advocated for legislative measures that would have secured the delivery of our Rwanda partnership as soon as the Bill became law,” she said.

“Last summer, following defeat in the Court of Appeal, I advised that we should scrap rather than continue passage of the Illegal Migration Bill, in favour of a more robust alternative that excluded international and human rights laws.

“When that was rejected, I argued that we needed to work up a credible Plan B in the event of a Supreme Court loss.

“Following defeat in the Supreme Court, the Prime Minister has agreed to introduce emergency legislation. I welcomed his decision.”

“It is now three weeks on and we are yet to see a Bill. We are running out of time. We need to see the Bill now.”

She said human rights laws were producing “insanities that the public would scarcely believe”.

‘Violent criminals free to wander our streets’

“Foreign terrorists we can’t deport - because of their human rights. Terrorists that we have to let back in - because of their human rights. Foreign rapists and paedophiles who should have been removed but are released back into our communities where they reoffend - because of their human rights.

“Violent criminals pulled off deportation flights - with the help of Labour MPs, I should add - free to wander our streets and commit further horrific crimes, including murder.

“Protesters let off the hook for tearing down statues and gluing themselves to roads. And our brave military veterans being harassed by courts some 40 years after their service.”

Mrs Braverman said that while she personally would like to see the UK leaving the European Convention on Human Rights, she accepted the government will not do that, saying it is a “debate for another day”.

She said that in any case, there were other ways to solve the small boats problem aside from leaving the ECHR.

And she called for Parliament to sit through Christmas if necessary to pass emergency legislation.

She said: “All of this comes down to a simple question: who governs Britain? Where does ultimate authority in the UK sit?

“Is it with the British people and their elected representatives in Parliament? Or is it in the vague, shifting and unaccountable concept of ‘international law’?”