Ministers could stop ECHR judges blocking migrant Rwanda flights under rebel Tory MP amendments

Ministers could stop ECHR judges blocking migrant Rwanda flights under rebel Tory MP amendments

WATCH HERE: Rwanda bill is 'strongest piece of immigration legislation ever put down in this country'

GB News
Christopher Hope

By Christopher Hope

Published: 09/01/2024

- 22:31

Updated: 10/01/2024

- 08:18

‘The stakes for the country could not be higher,’ Jenrick said

Ministers would be able to ignore automatically so-called last-minute “pyjama injunctions” by Strasbourg judges to stop planes deporting migrants to Rwanda under plans set out today by 30 rebel Conservative MPs.

MPs are due to debate the Rwanda Bill next week over two days on the floor of the House of Commons. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said this week that he welcomed “bright ideas” which would ensure that his Rwanda plan works to break the business model of the cross-Channel people traffickers.

The Tory MPs say that the new measures backed by former Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick and Sir Bill Cash with the support of an initial group of more than 30 MPs, will stop judges on the European Court of Human Rights from frustrating ministers’ implementation of the Rwanda plan.

Jenrick, who resigned as Immigration minister over weaknesses in the Government’s Rwanda bill, said: “The stakes for the country could not be higher.

“If we don’t fix this Bill the country will be consigned to more illegal crossings, more farcical migrant hotels and billions more of wasted taxpayers’ money in the years to come.

Robert Jenrick and migrant boat

Ministers plot to stop ECHR judges blocking migrant flights under new rebel Tory amendments to Rwanda Bill

Getty Images

“The Bill as drafted simply will not work because it doesn’t end the merry-go-round of legal challenges that frustrate removals. I’ve seen the legal advice and operational plans where this was painfully apparent.

“That’s why colleagues and I have tabled a set of amendments that block small boat arrivals making individual claims and prevent Rule 39 pyjama injunctions from Strasbourg grounding planes.

“Parliament isn’t a parish council, it’s our sovereign legislative body. The power to solve this crisis is in our hands and the responsibility on our shoulders.

“If the Government truly want to stop the boats, it should adopt these amendments and use parliament’s power to deliver on the repeated promises we have made the public.”

As well as stopping “pyjama injunctions” which would frustrate efforts to deport migrants, illegal migrants will also be blocked from bringing individual claims to suspend flights in all but a limited set of circumstances under the tweaks to the Bill.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak holds a press conference, following the Supreme Court\u2019s Rwanda policy judgement

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak holds a press conference, following the Supreme Court’s Rwanda policy judgement


The amendments are designed to close off the vast majority of routes to legal challenge by migrants while leaving a few exceptions such as when a migrant is medically unfit to fly - including pregnancy for instance - or when they are under 18.

The MPs say have received formal advice from leading constitutional lawyers which demonstrates that their amendments do not breach international law.

Among the initial group of MPs supporting the amendments are former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan-Smith, former Home Secretary Suella Braverman, former Cabinet Ministers Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, Sir Simon Clarke, Sir Jake Berry and Sir John Redwood, as well as leaders of the New Conservatives Danny Kruger and Miriam Cates and European Research Group chairman Mark Francois.

The so-called “five families” of right-wing Tory MPs said last month that they were worried that the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill will not deliver on Sunak's commitment to “stop the boats”.

Robert Jenrick

‘The stakes for the country could not be higher,’ Jenrick said

Getty Images

The Bill passed the House of Commons by 313 votes to 269 after not a single Conservative MP voted against the Bill.

But the leaders of the five groups on the Tory Right – including the European Research Group and Commons Sense Group - warned that they would try to defeat the Bill at the next reading unless it was significantly hardened in the coming weeks.

Sunak was asked on Monday at a PM Connect event with voters at Accrington Stanley Football Club near Wigan, Lancashire on Monday how he will convince members of his own party that the Bill was not “legally flawed”.

He replied: “If people have bright ideas about how we can make this more effective whilst complying with our international obligations and retaining Rwanda’s participation in the scheme… then of course, I’m open to having those discussions.

“But I have worked on it for a very long time, so I’m confident that it is a good deal and it will do the job for us.”

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