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We need to ditch ECHR to tackle Channel migrants crisis, Brexit-backing MPs say 

We need to ditch European Court of Human Rights to tackle Channel migrants crisis, Brexit-backing MPs say

The UK must pull out of the European Court of Human Rights to end the Channel small boats crisis, say Brexiteer MPs.

Rishi Sunak has made tackling the issue of thousands of migrants arriving from France one of his top priorities. 

He has vowed to pass laws to ‘make sure that if you come to this country illegally, you are detained and swiftly removed’.

But moves to discourage such arrivals by deporting them to Rwanda have been held up by court challenges.

Now an MP has told an audience of senior Brexiteers that the PM’s law must include a clause to ignore the European Court in Strasbourg if it tries to shut down the Government’s plans. 

Jonathan Gullis, Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, has said the UK ‘must have control of its borders’

Speaking at the Eurosceptic think-tank European Foundation, Jonathan Gullis said decisions made by British courts must not be overruled by foreign ones.

He said: ‘Taking back control was also about taking back our borders. It is simply unacceptable that 44,000 people came to this country illegally [last year].

‘We should not be afraid to, at the very least, derogate from the European Court of Human Rights as we did with prisoners’ voting rights.

‘If the ECHR don’t like it, we will have on the table that we will leave the ECHR come what may. This country must have control of its borders.’

Priti Patel, the former Home Secretary responsible for the Rwanda policy, told the Mail: ‘The meddling of the European Court of Human Rights to block flights to Rwanda only serves to support those who wish to abuse our asylum system and evil criminal gangs.

‘It must stop and it is right that we now act to curtail the powers of the European Court.’ 

She said any move to exempt the UK from human rights rulings was rejected by the Attorney General, adding: ‘All effort must be focused on implementing the Rwanda partnership and offshore processing of asylum claims.

‘This will contribute to us ending the abuse of our asylum system and protecting lives from criminal gangs.’

The Government’s policy to deport migrants to Rwanda was judged to be lawful by the High Court in December, but permission has been granted to appeal the decision in the Court of Appeal.

Judges will assess whether Rwanda has sufficiently guaranteed migrants’ safe and fair treatment.

The case could eventually reach the ECHR where judges could be asked to make a ruling on human rights, including whether the deal breaches migrants’ right to life or puts them at risk of torture. The Government was also hit by an ECHR injunction banning flights.

The Government had been preparing to introduce a British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act, but progress stalled at the end of last year.


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