The joint One Nation Caucus and Tory Reform Group conference last weekend, following the recent National Conservative Conference, are pointers to the shape of a possible future.
If Sunak doesn’t commit the Conservatives to leaving, and then somehow wins the next election, the next Leader of the Opposition will take up the cause.
Why should a previous government’s commitment to the international community trump (in practice if not in legal theory) a later government’s commitments to the British people?
They clearly believe that judges are increasingly taking upon themselves the role of MPs – and are willing to leave the Convention in consequence.
He could look again at short sentences. I wanted to scrap them – they are counter-productive in reducing reoffending and cause a great deal of disruption to prisons.
No, his does not mean that the UK has become “ungovernable” or that it will be “impossible for Ministers to do their job” or that his departure is a victory for “the Remainer blob” or evidence that the public sector is full of “snowflakes”.
They have been introduced in response to backbench pressure – with the Government seeming to accept the argument that the Bill as introduced was vulnerable to litigation. Parliament should accept them, but should be aware that some risks remain.
For whatever reason, he may be morphing into the politician I hoped he would become – the moderate man whose patience is exhausted.
Downing Street seems to think that one day’s bad publicity over clearing the backlog is a price worth paying for sorting the small boats problem. It needs to do so now more than ever.
It may be possible to be in favour of upholding the GFA and maintaining Northern Ireland’s place in the union whilst also favouring withdrawing from the Convention, but I am struggling to see how.
When push comes to shove, what will matter will be whether or not the arrivals stop – or at least that the voters believe that the Prime Minister really wants to halt them and is sparing no effort.
The Prime Minister must make up his mind whether or not to see through a policy to stop the small boats – now an issue of profound symbolic importance.
Take the case of a Nigerian national who was sentenced in 2016 to four years in prison for offences including possessing crack cocaine and heroin with the intention to supply. The First-tier Tribunal allowed his appeal against deportation on grounds deportation was irreconcilable with Article 8.
The new leader should review the Government’s current plans and focus limited time and political capital where it counts.
Unless Ministers get more grown-up in their rhetoric, they are going to set expectations at a level they cannot and should not meet.