CLAIMING asylum will be “blocked” for people who cross the English Channel in small boats, Rishi Sunak has said, as he launched a desperate defence of his Rwanda bill.

The Prime Minister insisted that Tory MP Robert Jenrick, who resigned as immigration minister on Wednesday claiming the bill did not go “far enough”, was wrong to say that the Rwanda plan would not work.

Speaking from Number 10 amid reports that Tory MPs are sending letters of no confidence in his premiership, Sunak claimed his Rwanda bill would make a difference.

He said: “Let me just go through the ways that individual illegal migrants try and stay [in the UK].

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak conducts urgent reshuffle of ministers after Robert Jenrick resignation

“Claiming asylum, that's now blocked. Abuse of our modern slavery rules, blocked. The idea that Rwanda isn't safe, blocked.

"The risk of being sent to some other country, blocked. And spurious human rights claims, you'd better believe that we've blocked those too, because we're completely disapplying all the relevant sections of the Human Rights Act.

“And not only have we blocked all of these ways that illegal migrants will try and stay, we've also blocked their ability to try and stay by bringing a judicial review on any of those grounds.

“That means that this bill blocks every single reason that has ever been used to prevent flights to Rwanda from taking off.”

Sunak also said that people who were removed from the UK would be "banned for life from travelling to the UK, settling here or becoming a citizen".

The National:

Fielding questions from selected journalists after the speech, Sunak insisted that a vote on the Rwanda bill in the Commons was not a vote of confidence in his leadership.

The Prime Minister claimed it was instead a vote of confidence in the British parliament and whether it could respond to people's concerns about illegal migration.

Sunak further declined to say whether the public were entitled to lose trust in him if there were no flights to Rwanda by the next election.

He said: “I think this is a Conservative Government that’s absolutely getting things done, doing what we say we are going to do.

“We’ve stabilised the economy and we’ve cut taxes for people, we have introduced the biggest ever tax cut for businesses to get them investing. We’ve got immigration falling with a tough set of measures that we’ve just announced to go further, we’ve got boat crossings down by a third.”

READ MORE: Millions in donations to UK political parties revealed – see the full list

He added: “Ultimately, look, it’s the British people who get to decide whether what we’ve said and what we’ve done have worked. I’m very confident in the record that we’ve put together over the last year and I’m confident that the British people will see that because it’s making a real difference in their lives.”

The emergency legislation to force decision makers to consider Rwanda is a safe country will be debated by MPs on Tuesday November 12.

Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt confirmed the date of the second reading for the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Draft Bill to the Commons.

The bill is likely to face challenges from both the centre and right-wing of the Tory party, for differing reasons.