UK Conservatives call for emergency legislation to scupper use of ECHR to thwart deportations

Several Conservatives including former Home Secretary Suella Braverman urged the government to act quickly if it was serious about its commitment to tackling illegal immigration

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Thomas Brooke
FILE — Migrants who undertook the crossing from France in small boats and were picked up in the Channel are transferred from a British border force vessel in Dover, southeast England, Friday, June 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Former U.K. Home Secretary Suella Braverman has urged the British government to introduce new legislation to prevent asylum seekers from relying on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to thwart deportations in order to effectively combat an exponential rise in illegal immigration.

Reacting to the Supreme Court’s judgment published on Wednesday, which held that removing asylum seekers to the African nation of Rwanda is unlawful under the current legal framework in Britain, the Conservative politician told her parliamentary colleagues they must either legislate or admit defeat on a key electoral pledge to “stop the boats” of migrants arriving on England’s southern shore.

“Today’s Supreme Court judgment is no surprise. It was predicted by a number of people close to the process. Given the current state of the law, there is no reason to criticize the judges. Instead, the government must introduce emergency legislation,” Braverman posted on X.

The former home secretary, who was unceremoniously sacked on Monday by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, said a new legislative bill must “block off” legal challenges against deportation often brought under the ECHR and the Human Rights Act (HRA), which enshrined the convention into U.K. law.

“This will give parliament a clear choice: control illegal migration or explain to the British people why they should accept ever greater numbers of illegal arrivals settling here,” Braverman said.

“Those who — like me — believe that effective immigration control is vital must understand that they cannot have their cake and eat it: there is no chance of curbing illegal migration within the current legal framework. We must legislate or admit defeat,” she concluded.

Wednesday’s judgment was a devastating blow to the current Conservative administration, which must now reassess how it intends to fulfill its long-held pledge to restore law and order and control Britain’s borders.

Some on the right of the governing party even called on Sunak to simply dismiss the ruling of Britain’s top court, including the party’s deputy chair, Lee Anderson, who called on asylum seekers to be sent back to where they came from on the day they arrive in the country.

Dominic Cummings, the top advisor to former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, also called for the government to repeal the HRA and withdraw from the ECHR, and to introduce primary legislation “empowering the government to use the Navy to stop the boats and prevent anybody on them claiming anything here under any international law of any kind.”

He added that the migrant crisis was “not even one of the 100 hardest problems” Britain faces and said the ongoing debacle “is not the fault of judges, it is the fault of our useless MPs.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak insisted his commitment to finding a solution to the crisis is “unwavering” and revealed he was “prepared to revisit (Britain’s) domestic legal frameworks.”

However, his critics, not least Suella Braverman, have recently claimed the Conservative leader has no intention of doing what is necessary to push through an effective migration policy. In a letter to her former boss issued on Tuesday, the ex-home secretary accused Sunak of being “uncertain, weak, and lacking in the qualities of leadership that this country needs.”

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