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U.K. Minister Revolts, Saying Rwanda Bill Disappoints

  1. Immigration Blog
  2. U.K. Minister Revolts, Saying Rwanda Bill Disappoints

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick resigned saying the government’s new Rwanda legislation does not go far enough to stop challenges to deportation. In the current political environment, we expect U.K. policy on legal immigration to get increasingly restrictive as well as the government moves to fulfil its pledge to cut net migration. Potential applicants have a short window to act before new rules kick in by April

Pressure on the United Kingdom to further tighten immigration policy grew after Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick quit, saying new legislation aimed at ending challenges to its Rwanda policy does not go far enough. He stood down hours after the prime minister tabled a bill to save the Rwanda deportation policy, The Guardian reported on its website.

The new legislation -- aimed at shoring up the government’s Rwanda asylum policy after it was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court last month -- does not allow ministers to override international laws which have stopped the government from sending asylum seekers to central Africa, the Guardian said.

Home secretary James Cleverly, told the Commons the legislation will prevent further legal challenges to deportation flights but Jenrick suggested that the provisions of the new Bill are not sufficient to resist challenges from those who might be sent to Rwanda, including from interest groups and lawyers.

Concerns about the legislation is symptomatic of the extreme pressure the government is under to reduce the number of foreigners arriving in the country after net migration in the U.K. climbed to a record 745,000 last year, nearly three times the average before the pandemic.

Earlier this week, the government announced a package of measures aimed at cutting net migration by 40 percent. These include ending dependent visas for health and care workers as well as a nearly 50 percent increase in the minimum salary foreign workers must earn to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa.

The government will also increase the minimum income required by British citizens and those settled in the U.K. if they want their family members to join them to ensure they are able to support themselves and not burden the state.

Other measures include ending the 20 percent salary discount on the “going rate” for shortage occupations in a bid to crackdown on cut-price labour from overseas. The new regulations are expected to be introduced by April.

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