British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s position is in jeopardy after a backlash from his party to his government’s controversial anti-immigration plan. Rishi Sunak’s attempt to reduce the country’s increasing immigration was met with the resignation of Robert Jenrick, the British Immigration Minister.
“Stop the boats”
The UK Prime Minister has revealed his ‘Stop the Boats’ plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. This attempt appears to be pulling the Conservative Party in two opposite directions due to differences in opinions between hardliners and moderates.
“The risks to the country are too great for us not to pursue the stronger protections required to end the spiral of legal challenges that threaten to paralyze the scheme and nullify the intended deterrent,” Robert Jenrick wrote in his resignation letter.
Rishi Sunak said in his response that Jenkin’s “opposition to it” was based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation.
In June, the Court of Appeal ruled that the UK government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was unlawful, as the African country could not be considered a safe third country. The UK Supreme Court in November agreed with the ruling and said Rwanda was not a safe third country.
But Rishi Sunak’s administration deployed emergency legislation to ensure Rwanda is considered a safe country.
The legislation is scheduled to be put to a vote on December 12. For the first time since Sunak took office a year ago, some MPs in his party said there was a possibility he could face a leadership challenge, Reuters reported.
So far, only one Conservative MP, Andrea Jenkins, has publicly called for a vote of no confidence in Rishi Sunak, but she said six of her colleagues had done so privately. The Conservatives are trailing the Labor Party in opinion polls for the elections scheduled for January 2025.
No Prime Minister in the United Kingdom has succeeded in completing his full term since the resignation of former Prime Minister David Cameron after Britain’s exit from the European Union.
The new immigration plan and how it affects Indians
The UK government’s latest set of tough visa measures to bring down immigration numbers includes a significant increase in minimum salaries for British citizens and permanent residents applying to bring family members to join them in the UK, a move expected to impact many Indian families.
Under the new immigration crackdown, overseas care workers will be banned from bringing in family members and skilled professionals must meet an annual salary threshold of £38,700, up from the current £26,200.
British Home Secretary James Cleverly told lawmakers: “We will stop immigration that reduces the wages of British workers.” He added: “We will create a new list of immigrants’ salaries with fewer professions.”
Analysts noted that this sharp rise will have a widespread impact on the family plans of low-income people. Business and labor unions considered these measures to be counterproductive due to the labor shortage and slow economic growth.
Indian industry and student groups have warned the British Prime Minister-led government of “unintended consequences” of the new measures, which could lead to skilled Indians choosing alternative economies.
“Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver.”