Britain is prepared to consider leaving the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) if it prevents the government from implementing its plans to crack down on illegal immigration, Attorney General Dominic Raab has warned.
The Illegal Immigration Bill, which was unveiled on 7 March, aims to prohibit people who have arrived in the UK illegally from applying for asylum. If enacted, illegal immigrants would be promptly transferred from the UK to their home country or to a safe third country such as Rwanda and would be barred from re-entering the country.
The bill would authorize immigrants to be detained for 28 days without recourse to bail or judicial review, then indefinitely as long as there is a “reasonable prospect” of being removed.
Opposition parties and immigration advocates say the bill is incompatible with Britain’s obligations under the ECHR.
Strasbourg-based ECHR has taken action against UK immigration policy. In 2022, a court granted an injunction effectively stopping UK deportation flights sending illegal immigrants to Rwanda.
But the government said it believed the bill was in line with the convention and was ready to fend off legal challenges.
Raab, who met with the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, said:
“But that will depend on the Strasbourg Court’s reaction to the important issues we seek to pursue in this country, including the suspension of small boats.”
Mr Raab said he had already met with a senior ECHR judge to discuss the UK government’s concerns over the court’s injunction against deportation.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman has previously acknowledged that the new bill may conflict with the UK’s obligations under the ECHR.
In a letter to Conservative MPs and colleagues last week, she wrote: [than] There is a 50% chance that they are not. ”
“Both houses will be given the opportunity to thoroughly scrutinize the bill, and if approved, the bill’s actions will be expressly approved by Congress, and we expect the courts to take that into account.” she added.
On the first page of the illegal immigration bill, Braverman acknowledged that he could not assure Congress that the bill would comply with the treaty, but added that “the government still hopes the House will proceed with the bill.” rice field.
The home minister, who presented the bill in the House of Commons on March 7, alluded to the bill’s “legal complexity”.
“Some of the country’s best lawyers have been and will continue to be involved in its development,” she said.
Braverman said last year’s decision by the Strasbourg Court to suspend flights to Rwanda was “extremely regrettable”.
She told MPs: However, in our view, this bill complies with our international obligations and these measures must be taken now. ”
“Up for the Fight”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “ready to fight” legal challenges to his plans to crack down on illegal immigration by boat in the English Channel.
A record 45,755 illegal immigrants arrived in the UK after crossing the English Channel in 2022, according to government figures. Over 3,000 people have already left him this year.
Snak listed “stopping ships” as one of his five priorities.
At a press conference in Downing Street on March 7, the prime minister said the government was ready to challenge any legal action.
“Of course we’re going to fight, otherwise I wouldn’t be standing here,” he said, adding, “But I’m sure we’ll win.”
Sunak said there was “absolutely nothing inappropriate” about his new law and said he was “confident” the government would win the lawsuit.
“We believe we are acting in accordance with international law, the ECHR. As we’ve seen, we fight so hard, we’re doing the right thing and we’re honoring our obligations,” he added.
Sunak said he “doesn’t think it necessary to leave ECHR” but did not deny the move when asked at a press conference.
PA Media contributed to this report.