Tory MP Jonathan Gullis has pleaded with Rishi Sunak to support his push for new legislation which would allow the UK Courts to ignore rulings from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Mr Gullis warned without a change in the law he tried to introduce before Christmas, the new Illegal Migrants Bill is doomed to failure.
At his Downing Street press conference today, Mr Sunak insisted the new legislation introduced by Home Secretary Suella Braverman “is compatable with the European Convention on Human Rights and international law.”
However, it seeks to remove reference to removing the rights of those arriving illegally in their first 28 days in the country by which time, according to the plan, they would be deported.
But Mr Gullis pointed out previous attempts to do this had fallen foul of the Strasbourg court because there was not a specific order to lift its jurisdiction.
In December, he brought forward a 10-minute rule Bill in Parliament which would have allowed for the ECHR to be ignored.
Mr Gullis argued that David Cameron’s government used a similar approach to ignore the ECHR’s ruling that prisoners should be allowed to vote in elections.
But because this safeguard from foreign interference was not in place when former Home Secretary Priti Patel brought forward her Rwanda plan it was blocked by the ECHR in a secret hearing where the UK Government was not represented and the identity of the judge was hidden.
Mr Gullis fears the same will now happen to the Illegal Migrants Bill.
He told Express.co.uk: “We have already seen the ECHR meddling by preventing us from offshoring illegal economic migrants to Rwanda.”
Mr Gullis added: “The new legislation announced still appears to rely on foreign judges in foreign courts not preventing us from enacting the will of the people, taking back control of our laws and our borders.
“That is why before Christmas I introduced a Bill to say on this matter, our UK courts should ignore political interpretation of our laws from the ECHR, and we reaffirm this democratically elected Parliament is sovereign and we will do what is right by the great people of our United Kingdom.”
Dudley North Tory MP Marco Longhi was also sceptical about the government winning against the legal challenges.
He said: “The legislation is well meaning but I don’t see how they escape various judicial reviews by which time we’ll have an election.”
Meanwhile, the United Nations’ refugee agency has intervened urging MPs and peers to block Mr Sunak’s “profoundly” concerning plan to tackle small boat crossings.
The UNHCR said the Illegal Migration Bill amounted to an “asylum ban” which would prevent people fleeing war and persecution from seeking refuge in the UK.
It has addded to concerns that international bodies will try to overturn UK legislation.
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