James Cleverly will announce he is still reviewing measures to reduce legal migration on Monday, as the government fights to convince its own backbenchers it can exercise control over UK borders.
Next month Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will then set out the results of the review alongside details of the new treaty with Rwanda and emergency legislation to enable migrants to be sent to Rwanda for processing, amid a growing split inside the Conservative Party over the way forward on migration.
The new home secretary will on Monday concede that Britain has not yet reasserted control of who is coming into the country in front of MPs, in his first Commons appearance since the ONS revealed more than a million people have net arrived in the UK in the last two years, according to the Politics at Jack and Sam’s podcast by Sky News and Politico.
In the most important moment since becoming home secretary, Mr Cleverly is likely to say that legal migration must be brought down and that illegal migration should be zero.
He will nod to the range of options that the government will suggest to curb legal migration, from banning workers from bringing dependants, or restricting them to one relative, increasing the minimum salary threshold for skilled workers and a cap on overall care worker numbers.
He will emphasise that the existing plan to stop students bringing dependants which are about to be implemented could also make a big difference.
However he is likely to face challenges from MPs concerned at his emphasis that the Rwanda policy is not a “silver bullet” and his resistance to the idea that leaving the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) might ultimately make the decisive difference to stopping small boats crossing the channel.
In the coming days, Sunak and Cleverly must make one of the most critical decisions of this government’s time in office over how draconian to be in emergency legislation to force through Rwanda.
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UK migration: What the numbers tell us
There is huge pressure from the Tory right to pass a law saying that the ECHR and other human rights legislation does not apply to the Rwanda policy, while there is concern in government that even doing this will anger those allies in the international community who need to strike returns deals.
For details of this dilemma, and the other ways post-Brexit Britain is seeking to establish itself on the world stage, listen to Politics at Jack and Sam’s above or download it wherever you get your podcasts.
Written by: Newsroom