Civil servants could be given new guidance forcing them to ignore rulings from the European Court of Human Rights blocking flights to Rwanda.

The measure is being floated by No 10 in a bid to see off another rebellion when MPs vote on Rishi Sunak’s flagship immigration plan tonight.

On Tuesday, 60 of his MPs defied the whip to back rebel amendments to emergency legislation. Two of those quit senior party positions, while another left the government.

If a similar number vote against or even abstain at the third reading this evening it would be enough to sink the Bill leading to questions about Mr Sunak’s premiership and possibly even triggering a no-confidence vote.

Even, if as likely, he gets the legislation through the Commons unamended, his party will be deeply divided, and the Bill faces a challenge when it heads to the Lords.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak faces Rwanda vote revolt after key resignations

One of the amendments MPs will debate today includes one from Robert Jenrick to allow the UK Government to effectively ignore Rule 39 orders, the urgent interim rulings made by the European Court of Human Rights. 

While the Prime Minister has said he is willing to do this in principle, Attorney General Victoria Prentis has reportedly warned that ignoring one of the injunctions would break international law, which would be a breach of the civil service and ministerial code.

Michael Tomlinson, the UK Government’s Illegal Migration minister, has confirmed that No 10 is looking at modifying the code or issuing new guidance to allow the orders to be disregarded.

Asked if officials would be told to advise ministers to ignore judges, He told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “We’re looking at the details of that.”

He added: “My expectation is that there will be further confirmation that it will be for ministers to decide and then once those decisions are made, they will be carried out into effect by our excellent and efficient civil servants. And we’ll hear more about that later today, I’m sure.”

Mr Tomlinson told Sky News that despite the deep divisions in his party there was a “unity of purpose.”

Every single Tory MP was “ determined to ensure that the Rwanda policy works and to stop the boats,” he said.

Mr Tomlinson said there had been “detailed debate and constructive, robust exchanges on all sides”.

Asked if the Government might consider pulling the third reading after the backbench rebellion, he said: “Oh, no. This afternoon, I’ll be on my feet again in the chamber of the House of Commons, we’ve got the second day of the Committee stage, we’ll have amendments that have been put forward on all sides.

“As I do – and as I have been doing throughout my short period in this role – I’ll be listening, listening respectfully to colleagues and, listen, I completely understand the concerns of my colleagues … and each and every one of them are incredibly good colleagues.

“If you listen and heard and saw what they say, they said that they are determined that this policy works. They support the Prime Minister in his aim to stop the boats.”

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA, described the plan as "madness".

He told HuffPost: "They’re essentially advising civil servants to act illegally, which will put them in conflict between their obligation to uphold the rule of law and to follow their instructions from elected ministers.

"Ministers have an obligation to not put civil servants in that position. This is madness – changing the civil service code does not change the law."

READ MORE: Lee Anderson resigns as Tory deputy chair over Rwanda plan

One of the rebels said deportation flights to Rwanda needed to take off regularly or would be viewed by the public as a gimmick. 

Jonathan Gullis told LBC: “Everyone agrees in the Conservative Party that we must get Rwanda done because it will be a good deterrent factor for people who choose to put thousands of pounds in the hands of smuggling gangs.

“What we need to do is have it as a sustainable deterrent. That means having regular flights with lots of people on board, otherwise people will just see it as a gimmick, the voters will see it as a gimmick.

“We will have tried a third piece of legislation in three years and, if it fails, it will be three strikes and you’re out.”