Braverman: Crucial for UK ministers to decide whether to accept ECHR rulings


The Home Secretary has described her plans to stand in the way of European judges being able to block the deportations of those arriving via small boats as a “crucial power”.

Suella Braverman on Friday laid amendments to the Illegal Migration Bill designed to make it more difficult for domestic and international courts to have a say in how the UK Government controls the country’s borders.

With the controversial legislation due to return to Parliament next week, she urged MPs to bring the Bill “into force as soon as possible so we can stop the boats”.

One of the changes the Home Secretary wants to make to the Bill, which is aimed at preventing migrants from crossing the English Channel on small boats and crushing the human trafficking trade, is that ministers would be able to decide whether or not to accept a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

The move is being seen as a concession to right-leaning Conservative backbenchers who had lobbied the Government to ramp-up the legislation so as to sideline ECHR interventions.

The would-be rebels have reportedly agreed to drop the threat of pushing through their own amendments following the publication of the fresh proposals from the Home Office.

Some had been calling for the UK to exit the European Convention on Human Rights to prevent judges on the continent from making orders to prevent deportations.

Strasbourg judges were able to use what is called a Rule 39 order to block the inaugural deportation flight taking asylum seekers to Rwanda last year.

Mrs Braverman said: “Our Bill will now give ministers a broad discretion whether to comply with interim measures in individual cases.

“This is a crucial power.

“At the same time, we are continuing to engage in constructive dialogue with Strasbourg on possible reforms to their process around interim measures.”

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
Suella Braverman has implored MPs to push through the Illegal Migration Bill ‘as soon as possible’ to prevent further small boat crossings (Gareth Fuller/PA)

“Only people who are aged under 18, are medically unfit to fly, or face real risk of serious and irreversible harm in the country we are removing them to will be able to delay their removal,” said Mrs Braverman.

“Any other legal claims will be heard remotely, after removal, in a safe country such as Rwanda.

“And modern slavery laws, which have increasingly become a target for abuse by those seeking to avoid removal, will be tightened.”

Mrs Braverman highlighted a concession made to liberal Tories following lobbying efforts led by Tim Loughton MP, which could include creating extra safe and legal routes for asylum seekers.

She said: “We have confirmed that we will publish a report on existing and any proposed additional safe and legal routes within six months of the Bill becoming law, thereby ensuring we give protection to those most in need.”


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