Failure to tackle illegal immigration will 'destroy' British democracy, Rishi Sunak declares in toughest speech yet | The Sun

FAILURE to tackle illegal immigration will “destroy” British democracy and faith in politicians, Rishi Sunak today warned.

In his toughest speech ever, the PM promised to “apply Thatcher’s radicalism” to his mission to stop the boats.

And he said the time has come to “update” international human rights laws to stop them being exploited by illegal immigrants to stay here.

The PM is understood to be talking about the need to reform the UN Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Issuing a rallying cry for action at a summit in Rome, the PM said: “If we do not tackle this problem, the numbers coming will only grow.

“It will overwhelm our countries, and our capacity to help those who need our help most.

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“The costs of accommodating these people will anger our citizens, who won’t understand why their money should have to be spent on dealing with the consequences of this evil trade.

“It will destroy the public’s faith not just in us as politicians but in our very systems of government.  

“Why? Because it is a fundamental tenet of sovereignty that it is we who decide who comes to our countries not criminal gangs.

“If we cannot deliver on that, our voters will lose patience with us and the way their countries are run—and rightly so.

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“We must have control of our borders.

"So, we must deal with this problem. To ignore it would be to put our countries at risk."

Mr Sunak’s premiership has been rocked by a Tory civil war over his plan to deport illegal migrants to Rwanda.

Dozens of Tory rebels refused to back his emergency Rwanda Bill at a showdown vote earlier this week, warning it is too weak and destined to flop.

But striking a defiant tone, Rishi promised to channel Thatcher’s radicalism in stopping the boats as he spoke at his political bestie Giorgia Meloni's conference in the Italian capital.

He said: “Margaret Thatcher never shied away from hard choices and big issues.  

“Today, there is no issue to which we need to apply Thatcher’s radicalism and drive to more than illegal migration.  

“Our opponents just want to ignore this issue. They want to put their heads in the sand and hope it goes away.”

“Well, let me tell them it won’t.”

Evil people smuggling gangs will continue to send people to their deaths on dinghies unless Britain and our allies take tough action to stop them, he said.

While our “enemies” will “use migration as a weapon” and deliberately drive people to our shores to “destabilise our societies", he warned.

The PM was cheered by the crowd and greeted with a kiss as he spoke at Ms Meloni's conference.

Both are leading the charge to change international human rights laws – like the UN refugee convention and ECHR – so we can take back control of our borders from criminal gangs.

Throwing down the gauntlet to the West to wake up to the need to reform human rights laws, he added: “We are both determined to break the business model of the criminal gangs.  

“If that requires us to update our laws and lead an international conversation to amend the post-war frameworks around asylum, we must do that.  Because if we don’t fix this problem now, the boats will keep coming and more lives will be lost at sea.”

His words are his toughest yet on the need to crack down on the small boats crisis engulfing Europe.

The PM’s authority was left on a knife edge earlier this week as over two dozen Tory MPs rebelled and refused to vote for his Rwanda plan in parliament.

Rishi insists the emergency law will finally get flights off the ground and shore up Britain's control of its borders.

But furious rightwingers slammed the plan – including his former close ally and Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick who quit the post saying it would not work.

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In Westminster, rumours of leadership plots to oust him as PM swirled.

In the end his Bill was voted through – although many Tory MPs abstained and warned they could still kill the Bill when it returns for more debate and votes on the New Year.

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