Deputy states that Rishi Sunak considers the Rwanda bill to be the most favorable option available.

Oliver Dowden has given a signal that the Prime Minister is hesitant to yield to pressure from right-wing Tories, but may be open to amendments. Rishi Sunak, the Deputy Prime Minister, believes the government’s controversial Rwanda legislation is the “best possible solution” for addressing illegal immigration. Dowden stated that the government is willing to consider amendments and will listen to Conservative MPs who have called for the bill to be strengthened. Failure to do so could lead to the legislation being voted down in early January. Dowden also defended Sunak’s assertion that immigration could “overwhelm” European countries, incurring backlash from fellow Tories.

Dowden said in an interview that the government is open to improving the legislation and values input from colleagues. Despite believing that the current legislation is the best option, the Prime Minister is willing to consider other ways of enhancing it. Sunak managed to avoid a sizable rebellion from right-wing Tory MPs after they abstained on the Rwanda bill. However, the Prime Minister faces further challenges in the coming year, including potential opposition from centrist Tory MPs who may vote against the legislation if concessions are made to the right-wing.

Dowden emphasized that amendments are not ruled out and the government will engage with them, as is customary with parliamentary legislation. He also defended the Prime Minister’s statements on illegal immigration, stating that he believes the warning is necessary and that migration has been weaponized by other countries such as Belarus and Russia. Dowden stressed the importance of reassuring the public that border control is maintained and the trade in human beings facilitated by people smugglers is prevented, which is why the legislation was introduced.

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