Robert Jenrick, Britain's former Minister of State for Immigration, has issued a warning about the cost of Channel boat crossings, estimating that each crossing costs taxpayers approximately £30 million. In a final appeal to the Prime Minister, Jenrick has urged him to strengthen the Rwanda Bill, citing the billions of pounds wasted on the migration crisis and the impact it has had on communities. Jenrick is set to lead a Tory mutiny over Rishi Sunak's borders plan, and if the PM loses the Rwanda vote, his authority will be severely compromised and the likelihood of an early election will increase.
Jenrick has compared the Rwanda Bill to a "bucket riddled with holes" and has sent a private letter to Rishi Sunak, calling for his amendments to be accepted in order to toughen up the Bill. He highlights that over 100,000 migrants have arrived in Britain illegally over the past five years, and if action is not taken, another 100,000 could arrive. Jenrick also criticizes the cost to taxpayers, stating that it costs more than half a million pounds to integrate and support a single illegal migrant, and the average small boat crossing costs almost £30 million. These figures are based on a study by the Institute for Market Integration and Economic Policy, which quotes a University of Amsterdam study.
The PM is facing a revolt from Tory rightwingers, led by Robert Jenrick, who are backed by over 50 Tory MPs. Their amendments aim to crack down on individual appeals by migrants and limit the power of international courts. There is also a threat from the left of the party, known as the One Nation Conservatives, who may also seek to amend the Bill. Votes on the proposed amendments will take place on Tuesday, followed by a crucial vote on the full Bill on Wednesday. If 32 Tory and Tory-aligned MPs vote against the Bill, it could overturn Rishi Sunak's majority and leave him battling for authority, potentially leading to a May election.
While some Tory MPs are prepared to vote against the Bill, others are frustrated with the rightwingers threatening to vote down No10. A senior Tory MP on the left of the party emphasized that there is only one family - the Tory party family - and warned against division within the party. Meanwhile, Home Secretary James Cleverly has attempted to rally Tory MPs behind the Rwanda Bill by criticizing Labour's borders policy and asserting that only the Conservatives can effectively stop the boats.