Rishi Sunak insisted his new plan to revive the stalled Rwanda asylum scheme “blocks every single reason that has ever been used to prevent flights”.
As the Prime Minister battled to keep his Tory party behind him, he claimed going any further would mean “the entire scheme will collapse”.
Mr Sunak has staked his reputation on coming up with a plan to “stop the boats” but his authority has been damaged by the resignation of immigration minister Robert Jenrick, who claimed the plan does not go far enough.
“Restore people’s trust”
At a Downing Street press conference he said the Government’s proposed new immigration law would “restore people’s trust that the system is fair”.
The Prime Minister said: “Today the Government has introduced the toughest anti-illegal immigration law ever.
“I know that it will upset some people and you will hear a lot of criticism about it, so it’s right to explain why I have done this.”
Mr Jenrick resigned on Wednesday over the new emergency legislation aimed at reviving the policy by declaring Rwanda a safe country after the scheme to send asylum seekers there was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court.
Former home secretary Suella Braverman also said the law did not go far enough, saying it would need to override international conventions in order to succeed.
De-facto vote of confidence
There will be a vote on the government’s proposals in parliament next week.
Sunak was asked during the press conference whether it will be treated as a vote of confidence in his government and pressed on whether he will expel Tory MPs who defy the whip.
Here’s what he had to say: