Sunak SNUBS European Court of Human Rights as PM introduces emergency legislation to stop the boats

Rishi Sunak

Sunak SNUBS European Court of Human Rights as PM introduces emergency legislation to stop the boats

Parliament TV
Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 06/12/2023

- 16:17

Updated: 06/12/2023

- 18:09

He will address the 1922 Committee at 5pm today

Rishi Sunak has snubbed the European Court of Human Rights, in new legislation aimed at getting the Rwanda scheme off the ground.

The new Bill, published this evening, says the UK parliament "is sovereign", noting that "the validity of an Act is unaffected by international law".

It also disapplies parts of the Human Rights Act, preventing it from getting in the way of sending migrants to Rwanda.

In a statement at the start of the legislation, Home Secretary James Cleverly said the Bill is not compatible with the ECHR.

WATCH: Braverman warns of 'electoral oblivion'

He said: "I am unable to make a statement that, in my view, the provisions of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill are compatible with the Convention rights, but the Government nevertheless wishes the House to proceed with the Bill."

The law also states that Rwanda is "safe country".

In a statement posted to social media after the legislation was published, Cleverly said: "When we said we would stop the boats, we meant it.

James CleverlyJames Cleverly signs new Rwanda treaty with Foreign Minister Vincent BirutaREUTERS

"This Bill makes sure that parliament decides who comes to this country - not the criminal gangs or foreign courts.

"Action, not empty rhetoric, will stop the boats."

The PM will be hoping the legislation appeases MPs on the right of the party who have been demanding the Government do whatever it takes to stop the boats.

The bill was published ahead of this evening's meeting of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, which will see Sunak hauled in front of his MPs to discuss migration.

SunakSunak is battling Cabinet division after the Supreme Court ruling on RwandaPA

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman criticised the Government over the issue in her first intervention from the backbenches this afternoon.

She warned the Conservative Party faces "electoral oblivion" if they don't find a viable solution to the problem.

The former home secretary attended a meeting of Tory rebels last night, which saw multiple right-wing factions come together to discuss James Cleverly's new Rwanda migration bill, GB News understands.

BravermanSuella Braverman has hit out at Rishi Sunak's emergency legislation, dubbing it "fatally flawed"PA

They demanded the Government do whatever it takes, including withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights, to get the deal off the ground.

The group confirmed that its so-called 'Star Chamber' of lawyers will convene to look at the detail of the Bill, and decide whether it is sufficient to get planes to Rwanda off the ground.

Reacting to the Bill, Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “It has the not withstanding clause in it - that’s good.

“Initial reading is encouraging. But we are waiting for the legal advice”

But yesterday, sources told the Telegraph that as many as ten Government ministers would resign if Sunak did decide to withdraw from the agreement.

The ministers, who are primarily from the One Nation caucus of Conservative MPs, are opposed to a hardline approach to the issue.

The One Nation group issued a warning yesterday that “overriding” the ECHR would be a “red line”.

But in her statement to the Commons today, Braverman said: "Crucially, when it comes to stopping the boats now, leaving the ECHR is not the only way to cut the Gordian Knot."

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