Ministers quell Tory revolt on new immigration law with move to BAN European judges from blocking Rwanda removals flights
Strasbourg judges’ ability to block Rwanda removals flights will be overridden by new UK laws, it was confirmed last night.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman is set to receive powers to ignore the European Court of Human Rights’ attempts to obstruct deportations.
Ministers yesterday secured a deal with rebel Conservative backbenchers which will add tough new measures to the immigration Bill currently before Parliament.
The changes will allow controversial injunctions issued by the Strasbourg court – known as ‘Rule 39’ orders – to be disregarded by the Home Secretary in illegal immigration cases.
Separately, the Bill will also be reinforced so the Home Secretary can disregard most injunctions issued by British courts in cases brought on behalf of ‘irregular’ migrants, such as those who arrived in the UK by small boat.
Secretary of State for the Home Department Suella Braverman leaves 10 Downing Street after attending the weekly Cabinet meeting
Challenges under the Human Rights Act would be barred, Tory rebel sources said.
The only way to block a removal will be if a UK judge is persuaded that sending someone to Rwanda or another safe country would cause ‘serious and irreversible harm’.
The amendments to the Illegal Migration Bill are expected to remove some of the final legal stumbling blocks.
An inaugural flight could then take place once the legislation is in place and an ongoing legal challenge in the Court of Appeal is complete.
The Government had faced a rebellion next week by up to 60 Conservative MPs.
Tory MP Danny Kruger, who led the talks with senior backbencher Bill Cash, said: ‘The British public have placed their faith in this Government to control our borders.
‘They are fed up with London lawyers and Strasbourg judges getting in the way of a sensible migration policy.’
He added: ‘I’m hopeful that the Government will be able to deliver the prompt removals to Rwanda and other safe countries that we need in order to stop the boats and lay the foundation of a fair and humane asylum system.’
Tory MP Danny Kruger, the leader of the rebellion against the Illegal Migration Bill
Last month Mrs Braverman said Strasbourg would be asked to rein in its use of Rule 39 orders and UK law would be changed if they refused.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab called talks with Strasbourg ‘positive’. But the rebels’ deal makes these redundant, as the Bill will go ahead with legislative changes.
Sources said the powers to ignore Strasbourg’s Rule 39 would be ‘broadly drawn’, effectively granting the Home Secretary ‘total discretion’.
During an official visit to the Rwandan capital Kigali last month Mrs Braverman said she hoped to get deportation flights under way by summer.
She said there was ‘every possibility we can move quickly’ if the UK’s Court of Appeal upholds the legality of the Rwanda programme.
Flights could even take off if opponents lodge a further appeal to the Supreme Court, it is understood.
A Home Office source said the rebels’ deal is still subject to ‘final sign-off’.
The Bill is due to return to the Commons next week.
Under the Rwanda agreement, irregular migrants will be given a one-way ticket to the country to claim asylum there instead of in the UK.