Rwanda setback as new Treaty 'won't be ready until at least next week'
Rwanda setback as new Treaty ‘won’t be ready until next week at the earliest’ with Home Secretary James Cleverly facing Tory backlash over defence of European courts
A promised new treaty with Rwanda looks to have suffered another setback amid rising Tory tensions.
The pact with the African nation is expected to be upgraded in a bid to quell legal objections to the UK deporting Channel boat arrivals there.
The agreement had originally been expected last week, but now seems unlikely to appear before next week.
Government sources played down the apparent delay, insisting it is not down to an ‘impasse’ between ministers.
However, it comes with Cabinet tensions running high over how to keep the Rwanda scheme alive after the Supreme Court blocked it earlier this month.
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick is backing radical proposals to legislate to exclude the plan from existing human rights laws, including the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
James Cleverly is due in the Commons this afternoon as he faces fresh questions about his commitment to the Rwanda plan
The Rwanda scheme is meant to provide a deterrent for migrants crossing the Channel
But Mr Cleverly voiced his opposition to quitting the ECHR at the weekend, telling The Times the Rwanda scheme was ‘not the be all and end all’ of the Government’s efforts to tackle the Channel migrant crisis.
Mr Cleverly is due in the Commons this afternoon as he faces fresh questions about his commitment to the Rwanda plan.
Tory sources suggested alternative schemes including deals with a number of other African countries and British Overseas Territories – such as Ascension Island – were thwarted by Mr Cleverly in his previous job as Foreign Secretary.
One highly placed source in the party said Mr Cleverly ‘has the wrong mindset for the job’ – just two weeks after he was parachuted in to replace sacked Suella Braverman.
The claim has been denied by Mr Cleverly, with a spokesman saying it was ‘at odds with reality’.
‘Countries identified were contacted with the full intention to see if they would meet with UK officials,’ the spokesman said.
Treasury minister Laura Trott yesterday appeared to rebuke Mr Cleverly, saying that the Rwanda plan was ‘central’ to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s bid to deter illegal migrants from crossing the Channel – although she played down claims of a Cabinet split.
The Mail understands that proposals to secure Rwanda-style deals with a number of other African countries had to be abandoned after Mr Cleverly objected.
‘There were other African countries Cleverly would not get into negotiations with, and then threw obstacles in the way,’ a Conservative source said.
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick is backing radical proposals to legislate to exclude the plan from existing human rights laws
‘He was refusing to look at it properly until the legal ruling on Rwanda had come back.
‘The Foreign Office put forward a couple of South American countries as possible contenders – without actually speaking to those nations properly about it – but they were completely unsuitable.’
Mr Cleverly also thwarted proposals to set up asylum processing centres on Ascension Island, Saint Helena or the Falkland Islands, Tory sources said.
A plan to use the British Overseas Territories for Channel migrants would have removed many of the human rights objections highlighted by the Supreme Court this month. ‘He blocked all of those, too,’ a source said.
Source: Read Full Article