But Mr Sunak’s campaign hit back, saying: “Rishi is clear he will do whatever is legally necessary to ensure adults who come to this country illegally have no route to asylum.”
Questioned on his immigration policies by Sky News on Sunday, Mr Sunak was unable to give clear assurances that his plans to tackle illegal migration would be legal,
He said it was important to be “very honest” about the challenges that European laws have on Britain’s ability to “grapple with this problem”.
Asked about the cruise ship plan, he said that the Scottish government had considered the idea. The Netherlands has also looked at it.
“I’ve said that we need to look at all creative solutions to make sure that we have the places we need to detain refugees and ensure that we can process them as quickly as possible,” he said.
“And I’m prepared to look at novel solutions. Indeed, Scotland and other countries have also looked at this. We need to tackle this problem creatively because it is a big challenge.”
‘Legal and controlled’
His 10-point plan included a commitment to a narrower definition of who qualifies for asylum compared to that from the ECHR, with enhanced powers to detain, tag and monitor illegal migrants.
Mr Sunak also promised to give Parliament control over who comes to the UK by creating an annual cap on the number of refugees accepted each year, albeit one that can be changed in the case of sudden emergencies.
He said: “Our immigration system is broken and we have to be honest about that. Whether you believe that migration should be high or low, we can all agree that it should be legal and controlled.”
A source on Team Truss said: “It is unclear how his proposed refugee quotas will work – will he include the 20 to 30,000 that have already arrived illegally across the channel so far this year?”
Miss Truss promised to increase the UK’s frontline Border Force by 20 per cent and double the Border Force Maritime staffing levels.
The Foreign Secretary said: “We need to break the cycle of these appalling gangs and stop people taking dangerous journeys across the Channel.
“As prime minister, I am determined to see the Rwanda policy through to full implementation as well as exploring other countries where we can work on similar partnerships.
“I’ll make sure we have the right levels of force and protection at our borders. I will not cower to the ECHR and its continued efforts to try and control immigration policy.”