The British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, lived on the wire, but his deputies ultimately chose not to bring him down prematurely. For the second time in two months, a rebellion threatened to overthrow a key law and, consequently, the government. But, as already happened in December, the group decided to stop at the last moment to avoid unleashing even more chaos than the Conservative Party has already experienced.
On Tuesday, 60 Tory MPs broke voting discipline to support an amendment that would strengthen a law to deport asylum seekers in Rwanda. The group warned that without changes to the text, the group would vote against final approval of the law. And if half of the 30 keep their word, the law (and the Sunak government) will fall tonight.
But the rebel group seemed to fear that they had a ‘loaded gun’ in their hands and decided to release it at the last moment. Only a small group of MPs followed through on their threat and voted against the law, which was approved by 320 votes to 276, saving at the last minute what was outlined as a full vote of confidence in Sunak. . In itself, it does not guarantee that deportations to Rwanda will begin soon because the House of Lords has the power to veto laws presented in the last year of the legislature that are not in the government’s electoral program, as is the case. But at least it prevents that group from being responsible for forcing early elections.
The result is that the slow pain of the British Government will continue for months, perhaps until mid-November. The polls predict an unprecedented election disaster for the Tories, and their deputies seem to have little desire to prove whether the polls are wrong or not before they are forced by law to call the polls whether they like them or not.
The economy refuses to help
Sunak stood in Downing Street after the fire of Liz Truss and her kamikaze budgets, promising to restore health to the economy, improve health care, and control inflation. But prices resisted taking the key step so the Bank of England could start lowering interest rates, and inflation data for December, published today, rose again against expectations. And the public treasury remains at a minimum, which prevents the government from releasing a wave of tax cuts or increasing investment in public services to encourage citizens.
Added to this is that immigration data, which remains at a decade high, shows no signs of change simply because a hundred asylum seekers have been expelled from Rwanda. Sunak is afraid, correctly, that doing anything will cost his votes, but he carries the risk that this law will not solve the problem and end up in a worse situation.
Sunak plans to call the election “in the second half of the year”, probably on November 14, trusting that the economy will recover in the summer and that the victory of Donald Trump in the US will “scare” the citizens and encourage them. to vote for the continuation of the government, or just for a ‘black swan’ to appear out of nowhere and save them. Polls predict a Labor defeat of around 20 points over the course of two years, and various projections estimate they will lose between half and 80% of their current seats. Conservative MPs chose not to press the button, which could have left them without their jobs. The painful year will continue.