Home Secretary Suella Braverman has reportedly been in discussions with Tory MPs to try and head off a rebellion as the Illegal Migration Bill returns to the Commons.
MPs have tabled a series of amendments, with Tories split between those who want to take a harder line on human rights laws and those who want to beef up commitments to safe and legal routes for refugees.
A group of Tory moderates led by Home Affairs Committee member Tim Loughton will push to make the Home Secretary specify in regulations new safe and legal routes for refugees to come to the UK.
But right-wingers want to toughen up the law to force Ms Braverman to dismiss “any human rights claim”, protection claims and judicial review cases if they prevent deportation.
Here i considers all the Conservative MPs who have publicly expressed concerns about the bill so far.
Danny Kruger, MP for Devizes, is leading a rebel group of 50 to 60 Conservative MPs who are calling for the Illegal Migration Bill to be hardened.
He has called for new measures to allow ministers to flout European legal advice, saying that the Bill should “operate notwithstanding any orders of the Strasbourg court or any other international body”.
Former minister Andrea Jenkyns, one of its backers, tweeted that she had signed amendments with the intention of “strengthening the bill and stopping the European Court of Human Rights’ laws superseding British law”.
Other backers include Jonathan Gullis, Simone Clarke, Mark Francois, John Redwood and Ben Bradley.
Mr Kruger said today he is “hopeful” that ministers will accept changes to tighten the legislation, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We are looking for commitments from the Government to take seriously the amendments we are putting down that would strengthen the Bill.
“We are very supportive of what they are doing – there is no rebellion here – but we do want to make sure we get those commitments.
“So we are waiting to hear what they say at the despatch box and I am hopeful that we can get the engagement that we want so that we can tighten the Bill.”
Tory MP Tim Loughton is leading a moderate group rebellion to force the Home Secretary to declare “safe and legal routes by which asylum seekers can enter” the UK.
It has been signed by 13 MPs as of Monday, including many moderate Conservatives such as Robert Buckland and Simone Hoare.
Other signatories included former Brexit secretary David Davis and Dame Diana Johnson, the Labour chairwoman of the Home Affairs Select Committee.
Mrs May told MPs earlier this month that “whenever you close a route, the migrants and the people smugglers find another way” and warned that “anybody who thinks that this bill will deal with the issue of illegal migration once and for all is wrong”.
She raised several concerns about the proposed legislation, including that it could lead to a “blanket dismissal of anyone who is facing persecution and finds their way to the UK”.
“The UK has always welcomed those who are fleeing persecution, regardless of whether they come through a safe and legal route,” she said.
“By definition, someone fleeing for their life will, more often than not, be unable to access a legal route.
“I do not think that it is enough to say that we will meet our requirements by sending people to claim asylum in Rwanda.”
Former Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said the Government “should make no apology for wanting to make sure that [illegal migration] is addressed fair and square” earlier this month.
He said he would support the bill but called for it to be amended to deal with the issue of the detention of children after it emerged that children who arrive in the UK on small boats will be detained in immigration centres under the plan.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday, he said that “a lot of us who decided to allow the principle of the bill to go forward yesterday were doing so upon the basis that this bill will need further work”.
Mr Buckland has put his name to several amendments to the Bill including ones relating to the establishment of safe and legal routes, ensuring refugee families can be reunited and preventing the detention of children.
North Dorset MP Simon Hoare, a senior backbencher who is chair of the Northern Ireland select committee, said earlier this month many Conservative MPs were only supporting the bill “with the clear understanding that we wish to see amendments to it as it progresses through Parliament, particularly in relation to women who are trafficked and to children”.
“Our votes are being given in good faith tonight, in the expectation that the bill can be amended,” he added.
He made the intervention in response to Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper’s speech, and nodded when she replied: “I do recognise that there are members on the benches opposite who are deeply troubled by many of the measures in this bill.”
He has joined Mr Buckland in supporting several amendments to the Bill regarding the establishment of safe and legal routes, ensuring refugee families can be reunited and preventing the detention of children.
Former minister Stephen Hammond, Conservative MP for Wimbledon, said in the Commons that many MPs in his party were only supporting the bill “on the basis that when it gets to Committee and Report stage, the Government will confirm in more detail the legal basis of the statement that it complies with our international obligations”.
He also asked the government for clarity over whether clauses in the bill could “prevent illegal sex trafficked young women from seeking provision and protection”.
Ahead of the bill’s second reading earlier this month, former education minister and Conservative MP for Kingswood Chris Skidmore announced he would not be supporting the bill in the Commons but he ultimately abstained on the vote.
“I am not prepared to break international law or the human rights conventions that the UK has had a proud history of playing a leading role in establishing,” he wrote on Twitter.
Senior Conservative backbencher Caroline Nokes, who chairs the Women and Equalities Committee, also stated ahead of the vote that she would not be supporting it when it first came to the Commons earlier this month, and ultimately abstained.
She told Times Radio she was “horrified” by the bill and failed to understand “what this legislation is going to do to act as a deterrent”.
“I am deeply troubled at the prospect of a policy which seeks to criminalise children, pregnant women, families and remove them to Rwanda,” she said.
“I didn’t vote for the last nationality and borders bill, this hasn’t achieved its aim in reducing crossings. In fact, we’ve seen them increase, and I fail to see what this legislation is going to do to act as a deterrent”.