UK-Rwanda deportations ruled unlawful
Conservative MPs are preparing to deliver an ultimatum to Rishi Sunak that he must tackle Britain’s membership of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).
It follows Appeal Court judges ruling yesterday blocking the flights to Rwanda on the basis of interpretations of the ECHR by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg which many Tory MPs believe has been “politicised”.
Express.co.uk has learnt that a number of senior Conservative MPs will now press the Prime Minister to keep his word when he said he would “do what is necessary” to stop the boats.
Among those believed to be involved are former minister Sir John Hayes who chairs the influential Common Sense Group and Danny Kruger, the founder of the New Conservatives group.
It comes as patience is running out over the small boats crisis with the summer months expected to bring record numbers of illegal migrants across the English Channel to Kent.
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Mr Kruger, a former Government special adviser who is now the MP for Devizes, told Express.co.uk that Mr Sunak will be given three options by Conservative MPs.
First, will be to follow the example of Winston Churchill when he opened discussions on the original ECHR to come up with a new agreement which ends the power of the court in Strasbourg.
Mr Kruger said: “He could well follow the example of Churchill to call an international conference.
“There will be other countries who are having equal problems with the court in Strasbourg and its ridiculous, politicised rulings, although maybe the problem is that Britain takes them more seriously than others.”
Second, is to introduce legislation which would allow the UK to ignore Strasbourg rulings on migration matters.
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Mr Kruger pointed out that this has already been achieved with the Strasbourg court’s rulings that prisoners should get the vote which the UK ended up ignoring.
He said: “While we were in talks with the ECHR about votes for prisoners we did not give prisoners the vote so in theory we could send people to Rwanda.”
The third option is to withdraw from the ECHR altogether, which a number of Tory MPs are pressing for the Conservatives to have in their next election manifesto.
Mr Kruger noted that many human rights are already protected in British legislation including the idea that a refugee should not be sent back to a country where they would be persecuted.
However, rightwing MPs pushing for a change will not have the backing of Boris Johnson who used his Daily Mail column today to say that option would be “too divisive”.
But a growing number of Conservative MPs particularly in Red Wall seats or ones affected by having local hotels packed with migrants are now pushing for a radical solution with the ECHR.
Already, Stoke North MP Jonathan Gullis, Ipswich MP Tom Hunt and Dover MP Natalie Elphicke have written for Express.co.uk looking for a change in the relationship with the ECHR.
Mr Hunt, deputy chairman of the Common Sense Group, said: “The time has come to develop a radical plan B in case we don’t get the outcome we need. Everything must be on the table, including leaving the ECHR.”
Mr Gullis, who tried to bring forward a bill to end the Strasbourg court’s decision-making over migration issues, said: “
For too long, the ECHR has frustrated the will of the Government and the British people, grounding flights to Rwanda, and preventing the deportation of foreign murderers, rapists, and terrorists.
“At the next General Election, the Conservatives must put leaving the ECHR in the manifesto so we can deliver what we promised in 2016 and 2019, taking back control of our laws and our borders.”
Ms Elphicke, writing from the front line where the migrants are landing in Kent, described the smugglers as “an industrial scale multi-billion pound criminal enterprise that has seen more people brought into Dover through small boats than the entire population I represent. It’s seen countless lives lost and missing in the Channel.”
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