Rishi Sunak will face the latest edition of Prime Minister’s Questions today, with the Government’s controversial new plans to deal with small boats crossings set to dominate the agenda.
Announcing the Illegal Migration Bill on Tuesday, the Home Secretary Suella Braverman said asylum seekers arriving in the UK illegally will be detained without bail or judicial review for 28 days before being “swiftly removed” to their home country or a “safe third country” such as Rwanda.
The Prime Minister later declared he was “up for the fight” against those opposed to the policy – here’s everything you need to know.
What time is PMQs today?
The next edition of PMQs is on Wednesday 8 March starting, as always, at 12 noon in the House of Commons.
You’ll be able to watch it on a live stream on this page, while it is also broadcast live on the UK Parliament YouTube channel.
What can you expect from PMQs?
The Government’s new plans for curbing Channel crossings are unsuprisingly expected to provide for the focus of today’s PMQs.
Mr Sunak could be challenged over how the legislation will work in practice and how it might stand up to anticipated legal challenges.
He has said that he is “confident” the Government will win legal battles over the “tough” but “necessary and fair” measures.
Labour has described the proposed policy as a “con” that was no more likely to be successful than prior Tory efforts to tackle the migration crisis.
Ms Braverman admitted to MPs that there is a “more (than) 50 per cent chance” the legislation may not be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
Asylum seekers arriving illegally face a lifetime ban on returning once deported and will never be allowed to settle in the country or gain citizenship.
The Bill’s feasibility has been questioned as plans such as forcibly removing asylum seekers to Rwanda are mired in legal challenges.
Mr Sunak told a Downing Street press conference that migrants arriving in the UK illegally will be removed “within weeks” and that the Bill will apply “retrospectively” if passed.
The UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, said it was “profoundly concerned” by the Bill and that, if passed, it will amount to an “asylum ban”.
Vicky Tennant, UNHCR representative to the UK, told Newsnight: “We believe it’s a clear breach of the Refugee Convention. And remember, even people with very compelling claims will simply not have the opportunity to put these forward.”
Additional reporting from Press Association