Politics Only 1pc of voters believe Rwanda Bill will stop...

Only 1pc of voters believe Rwanda Bill will stop the boats, poll shows


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Only one per cent of voters believe that Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda Bill will stop the boats, a poll by YouGov has revealed on the day MPs debate the plans for the first time.

Just two per cent of Tory voters also felt that the emergency legislation designed to pave the way for deportation flights to Rwanda would completely stop the crossings.

The lack of public confidence in the legislation comes amid concerns that the Bill, which declares Rwanda safe for asylum seekers, could fail to pass Parliament and, if successful, see migrants bog down attempts to deport them with multiple legal claims.

The survey of 2001 voters, which coincides with the second reading of the Bill, showed that overall fewer than one in five (18 per cent) believed it would “completely” or “significantly” reduce the number of crossings.

By contrast, nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) believed the measures would not reduce them much or at all. Eighteen per cent said they did not know. Leave voters showed a similar split, with 27 per cent saying they would reduce or stop the boats against 62 who thought they would not.

Conservative voters who backed the party in the 2019 election were more optimistic about the prospects for the success of the legislation, with 29 per cent believing they would reduce or stop the boats. Sixty per cent believed it would not.

By contrast just 11 per cent of Labour voters believed the Rwanda Bill would reduce or stop the boats compared with 74 per cent who said it would not.

The legislation declares Rwanda a safe country for asylum seekers underpinned by a new Treaty whereby the African state has given legally binding assurances to safeguard deported migrants after the Supreme Court ruled it unsafe.

It also aims to limit the scope for legal actions that could prevent deportations.

Bill ‘won’t work in its current form’

The poll comes just a day after a “star chamber” of Conservative lawyers said that the emergency legislation will fail to get deportation flights regularly in the air without lengthy legal challenges.

The panel, led by Sir Bill Cash, a senior Tory MP, said the Bill provided a “partial and incomplete solution” to the problem of legal challenges being used by illegal migrants to delay or defeat their deportation to Rwanda.

The poll was commissioned by the New Conservative grouping of MPs, one of five bodies on the Right of the party with concerns about the legislation.

They are demanding that the Bill needs to be toughened up to curtail, if not block, individual claims by migrants and to provide a legal guarantee that ministers ignore any attempt by Strasbourg judges to ground the deportation flights to Rwanda.

One of the rebels said: “Colleagues might be able to delude themselves but the public are not fooled. This is never going to work in its current form and the country knows it.”

The Prime Minister has warned that pushing the Bill further would breach international law, which would collapse the scheme as Rwanda has made clear that it will not tolerate such a situation.

The Government published its own legal advice on Monday which said the “cumulative” effect of its measures would “preclude almost all grounds for individual challenge that could be used to suspend or frustrate removal.”


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