The two contenders to replace Boris Johnson as the British prime minister promised on Sunday to prioritise the issue of illegal immigration. Both Sunak and Truss’ stances are backing the government’s policy of sending migrants to Rwanda.
The former chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak and foreign secretary Liz Truss, are fighting to become Britain’s next prime minister following a mass revolt against Johnson’s scandal-ridden administration, forcing the prime minister to back down.
Britain is facing rising inflation, stalling growth, and an increasing number of strikes. The candidates have clashed over the timing of tax cuts during a period of such instability.
Sunak on Saturday referred to himself as “the underdog” following opinion polls among the Tories which Truss topped, with the actual result due on September 5.
On Sunday, both candidates put forward their plans to continue with the government’s policy of sending illegal migrants to Rwanda, though the first deportation flight was blocked last month by the European Court of Human Rights.
Truss, who is tipped as a favourite, said she would look to pursue more “third country processing partnerships like Rwanda”, increase the border workforce by 20%, and strengthen Britain’s Bill of Rights.
“As prime minister, I am determined to see the Rwanda policy through to full implementation as well as exploring other countries where we can work on similar partnerships,” Truss said.
“I’ll make sure we have the right levels of force and protection at our borders. I will not cower to the ECHR and its continued efforts to try and control immigration policy.”
Sunak, who won the backing of most Conservative lawmakers in earlier leadership votes, said he would treat illegal immigration as “one of five major emergency responses” he will tackle in his first 100 days as prime minister.
“I’ll take a hard-headed targets approach, with incentives for people who meet them and penalties for those who don’t,” he wrote in The Sun newspaper.