4. Weekly Newsletter
Sunak on Rwanda asylum and immigration bill
Rishi Sunak has not revealed whether he expects asylum seekers to be sent to Rwanda before the upcoming autumn elections. On Wednesday this week, the Rwanda bill saw a government majority in the House of Commons, which should have reinforced the political initiative. However, this was undermined by the UK’s statistics watchdog, which claimed that the asylum statistics have been misleading.
The UK government has stated that it has cleared the legacy backlog of 92,000 asylum claims. However, the watchdog has claimed that there are still another 4,000 cases which remain unsolved.
The government introduced this Rwanda bill, which aims to reach Sunak’s pledge to “stop the boats”, with the plan that it would have been well underway by Spring. However, due to the bill being held up, it is not likely that it will occur without further amendments.
The UK’s front page news cycle over the last seven days has covered a wide range of topics. UK businesses are expected to offload a record £60 billion in pension obligations, Sunak makes pre-election tax cut pledges, and the UK is expected to experience a post-Brexit border disruption. Some of the newspaper headlines from this week were:
- ‘Financial Times-‘UK lenders report sharp rise in mortgage demand expectations’
- Financial Times-‘All parts of UK hit by economic stagnation since 2010, says think-tank’
- Financial Times-‘UK commits a further £800mn to planned nuclear power plant’
- Financial Times-‘Gas networks face uncertain future as Britain charts course for net zero’
- The Times-‘British Steel prospects ‘are uncertain’ as costs soar’
- Sunday Telegraph-‘British public are ‘paying more but getting less’ as NHS ‘wastes £10 billion a year’
India’s Tata Steel has announced that it will be closing the remaining two blast furnaces at the UK’s largest steelworks in Wales as a part of a sweeping restructuring of its UK operations. Over 2,800 jobs are in danger, which is a massive blow to what used to be one of the UK’s most lucrative industries. This move by Tata is part of a widespread transformation by the Indian company to transfer to a greener steelmaking operation, which will involve the employment of 8,000 people in the UK.
This transformation is said to involve a £750 million investment towards the restructuring and building of an electric arc furnace, which is mainly funded by a £500 million grant from the government. Tata Steel’s Chief Executive said that it was a “difficult” but necessary course to take as, after investing £5 billion in the UK economy since 2007, they must create a more sustainable path.