Labour accused of wanting to open door for illegal migration as Braverman slams 'dodgy lawyers'

Suella Braverman

Suella Braverman has accused Sir Keir Starmer of actively wanting to "facilitate illegal migration".

Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 29/08/2023

- 15:30

Updated: 29/08/2023

- 15:44

The Home Secretary said she is considering all options in an attempt to fulfil Rishi Sunak's pledge to stop the boats.

Suella Braverman has accused Sir Keir Starmer of actively wanting to "facilitate illegal migration".

She hit out at a range of "forces" at play, including both the European courts and the Labour party, claiming they are looking to block the Government's mission to stop the boats.

The Home Secretary today said she is considering all options in an attempt to fulfil the pledge made by Rishi Sunak earlier this year, but stopped short of saying the UK should leave the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

When asked if the UK would attempt to leave the ECHR, Ms Braverman described it as "politicised" and "interventionist", but said the Government is not “talking about leaving the ECHR right now".

Keir Starmer

The Labour Party has been accused of wanting to 'facilitate illegal migration'


The Home Secretary told the BBC: “My personal views are clear. It’s a politicised court. It’s interventionist. It’s treading on the territory of national sovereignty.”

She added: "If we are thwarted by the courts or indeed by Strasbourg then we will have to do whatever it takes ultimately to ensure we can stop the boats.

"The Prime Minister has made this pledge, this is not about trying to succeed, this is about succeeding on the pledge and stopping the boats.

"And if we are thwarted, whether it's in the courts or by other forces, let's remember we're up against a multitude of forces whether it's dodgy immigration lawyers, charities and NGOs, and the Labour Party, all of whom want to stop us in delivering our mission, then we'll have to do whatever it takes to ensure that we deliver on this pledge."

The MP for Fareham added: "It’s absolutely clear that if we’re thwarted in the courts, because of the ECHR, if we are thwarted in Strasburg, we will do whatever it takes.

"The Prime Minister has been adamant about that. There must be no stone left."

She accused the Labour Party of actively wanting to "facilitate illegal migration".

After making his pledge to stop the boats one of the core pillars of his premiership, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak introduced the Illegal Migration Bill to the Commons.

The legislation, which passed earlier this year, will impose a duty on the Home Secretary to detain and remove people who have entered the UK illegally to a "safe" third country.

The legislation removes temporary protections for suspected victims of modern slavery, allowing them to be removed to a third country.


Rishi Sunak

The Government passed the Illegal Migration Act earlier this year.


However, the Government's plans to send migranta to Rwanda were put on hold in June, when the UK Court of Appeal ruled that it could not be categorised as a safe third country.

The Illegal Migration Act has faced criticism from campaigners and human rights activists, with Enver Solomon, head of the Refugee Council, saying: "It's treating people as mere objects rather than vulnerable men, women and children in search of safety, who should always be treated with compassion and humanity."

The number of people in the UK waiting for a decision on their asylum claim has reach a record high, Home Office figures show.

Over 175,000 people were waiting for a decision on whether or not they will be granted refugee status, an increase of 44 per cent from last year.

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