How Rishi Sunak’s ‘small boats week’ ended in disaster

By all accounts, Rishi Sunak’s “small boats week” was supposed to be the moment in which the government demonstrated its seriousness about achieving its key pledge of “stopping the boats”.

A raft of announcements would push migration to the top of the news agenda, as ministers talked up the government’s tough approach and floated an array of well-worn policy ideas – from pulling out of the European Convention on Human Rights, to sending migrants to Ascension Island – all against the backdrop of asylum-seekers being moved to an overcrowded barge in Dorset, the Bibby Stockholm.

But plagued by embarrasments from the start, multiple threats of actual disease saw the week quickly descend into farce and calls for home secretary Suella Braverman to be sacked, before ending with a tragedy in the Channel which has intensified pleas for more safe and legal routes into Britain.

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