Rishi Sunak insists his plan to stop migrants crossing the Channel ‘is working’, despite record numbers – UK politics live | Immigration and asylum

06.00 EDT

Sunak has also weighed in on inflation, which he admitted is “proving to be more persistent than people thought”. But, he insisted, this does not mean his means of dealing with it are wrong.

I know things are difficult for many families across the country. The UK is not alone in experiencing a rise in interest rates… the crucial thing that we have to do is bring inflation down.

That’s how we’re going to ease the burden for families. That’s how we’re going to stop the rise in interest rates. And that’s why my priority is to halve inflation.

Of course, that is proving to be more persistent than people thought, but that doesn’t mean the course of action is wrong. We’ve got to stick to it.

Updated at 06.00 EDT

05.57 EDT

Rishi Sunak has now arrived in Vilnius (pictured below disembarking the plane with James Cleverly) where Nato summit proceedings kick off today.

British prime minister Rishi Sunak and secretary of state for foreign, commonwealth and development affairs, James Cleverly, leave a plane after their flight from London to Vilnius, Lithuania. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AP

Defending the government’s defence investment amid suggestions that the UK could lose influence as a result of its Army size, he said:

I think the UK should be incredibly proud of the leading role that we play not just in Nato, but across the world in protecting security and indeed in investing in our armed forces.

The summit, he said, was an opportunity to highlight the “enduring unity and importance” of the military alliance “which the Uk has been at the heart of for the entire time of its existence.”

British prime minister Rishi Sunak, secretary of state for foreign, commonwealth and development affairs James Cleverly and secretary of state for defence Ben Wallace arrive on the first day of the 2023 Nato summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Updated at 05.57 EDT

05.48 EDT

Sunak insists his plan to stop migrants crossing the Channel ‘is working’, despite record numbers

Rishi Sunak has insisted that his plan to stop migrants crossing the Channel “is working” – despite record numbers.

Speaking to reporters on the plane en route to the Nato summit in Lithuania, the prime minister claimed Britain has been “making progress so far” and that he has always said crossings would increase over the summer, reports Sky News.

Friday saw the highest number of migrants arriving in Britain across the Channel in one day so far this year, with 686 people making the risky journey.

He said:

I do think the plan is working … starting to work.

You can see that most obviously with the Albanian deal we did. We came in and changed how we processed illegal migrants from Albania, signed a new deal with Albania.

We’ve returned almost 2,000 illegal migrants to Albania and you’ve seen a dramatic reduction in the number of crossings. Right. That shows me deterrence works.

This, he said, gives him “confidence that our overall strategy is the right one”. He added: “And look, we’re making progress on other aspects of our plan”.

He said:

The illegal migration bill is an important part of it, it’s making progress through parliament … [it] represents, I think, the toughest piece of legislation any government has ever put forward to tackle this problem.

He added:

I’m not going to rest until we resolve this problem. It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to happen overnight.

Rishi Sunak speaking with journalists on his plane during his flight from London to Vilnius, Lithuania, where he will attend the Nato summit. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AP

Updated at 05.58 EDT

05.36 EDT

Speaking to the Treasury select committee, Charlotte Harrison, the interim chief executive of home financing at Skipton Building Society, said she expects to see even more “financial stress” for customers than previously amid high interest rates.

Updated at 05.58 EDT

05.25 EDT

The Treasury select committee is hearing evidence from senior directors at major UK banks on the mortgage market and how it is being affected by rising interest rates (see also 10.12am).

Later, at 11.30am, Steve Barclay, the health and social care secretary, and his ministers will be facing questions in the House of Commons.

And after 12.30am the Commons will consider Lords amendments of the illegal migration bill (see 9.40am).

Updated at 05.33 EDT

05.15 EDT

Priti Patel has said key pillars of the government’s flagship illegal migration bill have been abandoned as a cabinet minister insisted the government could “make real and clear progress” on stopping small-boat crossings in the Channel.

The former home secretary tweeted on Tuesday: “We were told that the illegal migration bill would ‘stop the boats’. Key pillars of that bill have now been abandoned.”

She also used her Twitter account to highlight the fact that her former department was now spending £500,000 a day on 5,000 empty hotel beds as a buffer for higher than expected numbers of migrants crossing the Channel. Officials told the Commons public accounts committee the Home Office maintains the buffer in an attempt to avoid a repeat of problems at the Manston processing centre in Kent.

Updated at 05.32 EDT

05.12 EDT

Two-year fixed mortgage rates in the UK have risen to the highest level since the 2008 financial crisis, adding to the pressure on households.

A typical two-year deal has risen to 6.66%, up from 6.63% on Monday, according to the data provider Moneyfacts.

It is the highest rate since 2008 – bad news for homeowners whose deals are coming to an end and who need to remortgage soon. It means they will be paying hundreds of pounds more each month.

The rise takes the cost of two-year mortgages slightly above the peak of 6.65% reached last autumn, when the borrowing market was rocked by Kwasi Kwarteng’s “mini-budget” package of unfunded tax cuts.

The average five-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 6.17% on Tuesday from 6.13% on Monday.

Moneyfacts said there were fewer deals available; a total of 4,344 residential mortgage products, down from 4,631 on Monday.

Savings rates have not risen as fast as mortgage rates. The average rate on an easy access savings account was unchanged on Tuesday at 2.53%.

Updated at 05.31 EDT

05.06 EDT

Suella Braverman has said she hopes the amendments to the illegal migration bill will help the “crucial” new law pass “swiftly”.

It will also, the home secretary said, “send a clear message that the exploitation of children and vulnerable people, used by criminals and ferried across the Channel, cannot continue”.

Updated at 05.30 EDT

04.55 EDT

Jeremy Hunt has responded to new ONS figures showing that unemployment has jumped above expectations to 4% in the three months to May (from 3.8% the previous quarter). Meanwhile, wages increased at the joint-highest rate on record.

The chancellor said:

Our jobs market is strong, with unemployment low by historical standards. But we still have around 1m job vacancies, pushing up inflation even further.

Our labour market reforms – including expanding free childcare next year – will help to build the high-wage, high-growth, low-inflation economy we all want to see.

Updated at 05.28 EDT

04.40 EDT

Illegal migration bill returns to Commons as PM heads to Vilnius

As Rishi Sunak set off for Lithuania for the crunch two-day Nato summit in Vilnius, back home the controversial illegal migration bill will today make a return to the House of Commons.

After taking a beating in the House of Lords – where it has been defeated no less than 20 times – last night the government was forced to announce new amendments to the proposed legislation, in what is expected to be seen as a win for Tory rebels.

Key changes include that the law will not apply retrospectively to migrants who have already crossed the Channel.

The Home Office also said it had brought in “safeguards” after being subjected to House of Lords scrutiny.

But when it comes to bans on re-entry, settlement and citizenship, the law will still apply retrospectively to those who arrived illegally on or after the date of the bill’s introduction: 7 March.

The Home Office said it would ensure the list of definitions of “serious and reversible harm” cannot be changed in secondary legislation.

Other changes include that the first tier tribunal can grant immigration bail after eight days to unaccompanied children who have been detained for the purpose of removal. This is a reduction on the proposed 28 days.

Pregnant women cannot be detained for more than 72 hours, but that period can be extended to seven days if it is authorised by a minister.

MPs will vote on the changes today and on the Lords amendments, which you can find here.

I will be looking after the politics blog today. If you have any tips or suggestions, please get in touch: [email protected]

Rishi Sunak boards his plane to Vilnius, Lithuania, for a two-day Nato summit. Photograph: WPA/Getty Images

Updated at 05.49 EDT

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