How UK PM Rishi Sunak’s New Anti-Immigration Policy Has Put Him In Jeopardy

UK PM Rishi Sunak unveiled his plan, “Stop The Boats”, to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s position is in jeopardy after backlash from his party over his government’s controversial anti-immigration plan. Rishi Sunak’s attempt to cut soaring immigration in the country met with the resignation of Robert Jenrick, the UK’s immigration minister.

‘Stop The Boats’

The UK Prime Minister unveiled his plan, “Stop The Boats”, to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. The attempt seems to pull the Conservative Party in opposite directions due to differences in opinions between the hardliners and moderates.

The stakes for the country are too high for us not to pursue the stronger protections required to end the merry-go-round of legal challenges which risk paralysing the scheme and negating its intended deterrent,” Robert Jenrick wrote in his resignation letter.

In his reply, Rishi Sunak said, Jenkin’s “Opposition to it was “based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation”.

In June, the Court of Appeal ruled the UK government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was unlawful as the African nation could not be considered a safe third country. The UK Supreme Court in November agreed with the ruling and said Rwanda is not a safe third country.

But, Rishi Sunak’s administration published emergency legislation to ensure Rwanda is considered a safe country.

The legislation will be put to vote on December 12. Some members of parliament in his party said for the first time since Sunak entered office a year ago there was a possibility he could face a leadership challenge, Reuters reported.

So far only one Conservative Party MP, Andrea Jenkyns, has publicly called for a no-confidence vote against Rishi Sunak, but she said six of her colleagues have done so privately. Tories lag way behind the Labour Party in opinion polls of the elections in January 2025.

No UK Prime Minister has succeeded in completing their full term in office since the resignation of former Prime Minister David Cameron post-Brexit.

New Immigration Plan And How It Affects Indians

The UK government’s latest set of visa crackdowns to cut immigration figures includes a major hike in the minimum salary threshold for British nationals and permanent residents applying to bring family members to join them in the UK, a move expected to impact several Indian families.

Under the new immigration crackdown, overseas care workers will be banned from bringing family members and skilled professionals must meet an annual salary threshold of GBP 38,700, up from the current GBP 26,200.

“We will stop immigration undercutting the salary of British workers,” UK Home Secretary James Cleverly told lawmakers. “We will create a new immigration salary list with a reduced number of occupations,” he added.

Analysts have flagged that this steep hike will have a wide-ranging impact on the family plans of those on lower incomes. Business and trade unions flagged the measures as counterproductive due to labour shortage and slow growth in the economy.

Indian industry and student groups have warned the UK PM-led government of “unintended consequences” of the new measures, which would lead to skilled Indians choosing alternate economies.

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