Inside Westminster

Sunak’s obsession with Rwanda has split his party – and, worse, reignited the Brexit wars

In seeking a ‘middle way’ on immigration, between the Tories’ left and right flanks, the prime minister is sure to have his hopes dashed – and may even suffer the same fate as Theresa May, writes Andrew Grice

Friday 08 December 2023 18:44 GMT
Comments
<p>In trying to placate his party’s two warring factions, the danger for Rishi Sunak is that he fails to satisfy either</p>

In trying to placate his party’s two warring factions, the danger for Rishi Sunak is that he fails to satisfy either

The cost of the government’s failed scheme to send asylum seekers to Rwanda has doubled to £290m, but Rishi Sunak is still flogging this dead horse. He has foolishly elevated it to totemic status, which is why it now poses the biggest test of his authority as prime minister.

If Sunak had not promised to “stop the boats,” and instead pledged to reduce the number of Channel crossings, he might have got some credit for the one third drop this year. If he had expended as much effort into securing return deals with other countries, like the successful agreement with Albania, as he has on the Rwanda plan, he would have a much better story to tell.

Yet the PM gives voters the impression all his eggs are in the Rwanda basket – even though the Supreme Court ruled it illegal, and the Home Office admits it is “not possible to estimate” whether it would deter migrants from making Channel crossings.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in