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UK: Immigration minister quits over Rwanda bill

Robert Jenricks leaves Downing Street after a meeting in London, Wednesday, March 18, 2020.   -  
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Kirsty Wigglesworth/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved

United Kingdom

Britain's ruling Conservative party was plunged into disarray on Wednesday after its immigration minister quit over legislation regarding sending migrants to Rwanda.

Robert Jenrick said he had resigned due to "strong disagreements with the direction" of the government's policy on immigration.

Disregard human rights law

His decision came just hours after the prime minister Rishi Sunak tabled a bill to save his Rwanda deportation policy, which if passed would allow ministers to disregard some human rights law.

The bill proposes giving ministers powers to disregard sections of the UK Human Rights Act and ECHR when considering deportation cases.

In his reply, Sunak said Jenrick's resignation was "disappointing" and "based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation".

Not tough enough

However, Jenrick and other hardliners, including former interior minister Suella Braverman, feel it doesn't go far enough.

Braverman and her supporters are calling for Sunak to take Britain out of the European Convention on Human Rights altogether, and override all other international law in a bid to ensure the UK can send flights to Kigali.

Rwanda had earlier warned that it would pull out of a treaty to accept migrants if Britain did not respect international law.

The deportation plan was first announced in April 2022 but since then has been repeatedly delayed by legal challenges.

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