Ministers won't break but WILL stretch boundaries of international law
‘We will push human rights laws to the limit’: Ministers say they won’t break but WILL stretch boundaries of international law in new crackdown on Channel migrants to be announced TOMORROW – as sources close to Home Secretary say Brits ‘have had enough’
- Tough measures to tackle small boat arrivals will be rushed through Parliament
- Sources close to Home Secretary Suella Braverman said Britons ‘had enough’
- READ MORE: Pro and anti-migrant protestors face off in Dover in latest clash
The biggest crackdown on illegal migration for decades is to be unveiled today.
Tough measures to tackle small boat arrivals will be rushed through Parliament – and could be in place by summer.
Sources close to Home Secretary Suella Braverman said Britons ‘have had enough’ and vowed that ministers would tackle the Channel crisis ‘no ifs, no buts’.
It is understood that a rarely-used measure under the Human Rights Act – known as a Section 19.1.B statement – will be deployed to get the legislation through Parliament.
Ministers are understood to have received advice that the proposals are lawful despite pushing the boundaries of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Tough measures to tackle small boat arrivals will be rushed through Parliament – and could be in place by summer
Sources close to Home Secretary Suella Braverman said Britons ‘have had enough’ and vowed that ministers would tackle the Channel crisis ‘no ifs, no buts’
Small boat migrants will be barred from lodging asylum claims and stripped of the ability to launch human rights appeals.
Nearly all those who arrive by illegal routes will be able to appeal only once they have been deported.
Only children and the gravely ill will be allowed to remain in Britain while they bring legal challenges, Mrs Braverman is expected to say.
A ‘duty to remove’ any migrants who arrive illegally will be placed on the Home Secretary.
READ MORE: Ministers battle the Whitehall ‘Blob’ over plans to tackle the Channel migrant crisis and deliver on Rishi Sunak’s pledge to ‘stop the boats’
It is understood that asylum and human rights claims will be ‘radically curtailed’ under the package.
The sources close to Mrs Braverman said: ‘The British people have had enough. This Government is determined to stop the boats and ensure we have all the powers available to remove illegal migrants from the country.
‘The Prime Minister and Home Secretary are resolved to this course of action, no ifs, no buts.’
Another insider said: ‘This new duty to remove will ensure that the Home Secretary’s power to remove migrants takes precedence in law and ensures asylum, human rights and modern slavery claims are blocked.’
In a separate development, ministers have not given up on sending the first plane-load of migrants to Rwanda this year. They have been encouraged by December’s court ruling that the deal with the African country is lawful.
Although the policy is still facing legal challenges ministers believe it could even be possible for an asylum flight to take off by the summer.
The full package of immigration measures is due to be unveiled by Rishi Sunak and Mrs Braverman later today.
The Prime Minister has pledged to ‘stop the boats’ as one of his five key pledges to voters after Channel arrivals surged to almost 46,000 last year.
Immigration laws brought into force under Boris Johnson set out how the Home Secretary can declare a migrant’s claim inadmissible if they passed through a safe third country such as France.
Today’s strengthened package will see this applied almost across the board to all migrants.
The move will expand powers introduced by Labour in 2003 – ‘non-suspensive appeals’ – that allow asylum seekers to be removed after their initial claim is rejected.
However use of the powers has slumped. There were 1,285 asylum cases earmarked for the process in 2018, but in the first six months of last year only 171 were deemed eligible.
The Illegal Migration Bill will also see Channel migrants banned for life from coming back to Britain.
Ministers have insisted that they can ignore last-minute interventions by Strasbourg judges.
A new Bill of Rights, published last June but currently on hold, states unequivocally that ‘no account is to be taken of any interim measure issued by the European Court of Human Rights’.
But it is not yet known whether today’s legislation will include the measures.
It is understood that a rarely-used measure under the Human Rights Act – known as a Section 19.1.B statement – will be deployed to get the legislation through Parliament
Ministers are braced for opposition from the Whitehall establishment – dubbed the ‘Blob’ – over their plan to tackle the Channel crisis.
READ MORE: Asylum seeker, 20, who piloted boat carrying 45 people across Channel claiming he was on the run from rival Sudanese tribe in France is jailed for eight months just two days after arriving in UK
Critics include former Home Office mandarin Sir David Normington who said it was ‘highly doubtful’ the proposals would lead to a fall in crossings.
Refugee charities and a trade union that represents immigration officers were also among those who questioned early details of the scheme.
Sir David told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘At the heart of the policy is a gamble that if you say it’s illegal to come in a small boat people will stop coming. I think that is highly doubtful.’
He predicted the Government’s plan would face ‘very great’ problems.
Lucy Moreton of the Immigration Services Union also cast doubt on the plans, describing them as ‘quite confusing’.
Enver Solomon of the Refugee Council described the legislation as flawed, adding: ‘It’s unworkable, costly and won’t stop the boats.’
Steve Valdez-Symonds of Amnesty International UK condemned the proposed measures as ‘disgraceful posturing and scaremongering’.
Asked whether the plan was legally feasible, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer replied: ‘I don’t know that it is and I think we’ve got to be very careful with international law here.’
But the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: ‘We’ve seen too many lives lost attempting this dangerous and unnecessary journey, and the number of people entering the country is simply unsustainable. As we’ve always said, we recognise there will likely be challenges in many forms to this sort of legislation.’
A No 10 spokesman said the Government would stop all small boats but declined to put a timescale on the plans.
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